Monday, September 30, 2013

That’s History

When a day is done, whether good or bad, it immediately becomes history. One of the things about history is that you can’t go back and change it; nor can you go back and relive it.

As far as history goes, we all learn important dates in school. In fact we learn more dates than we can ever remember. Sometimes our teachers help us devise tricks to remember and with a little rhyme, we might always remember a date. “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” How could I ever forget that date?

That’s history class. I always enjoyed history, outside of the date thingy. History is stories...important stories...about events that shape us now, although most school kids think history is boring. The reason it is boring to kids is because the rich stories of the past are reduced to facts and dates, and some of those are presented in a biased and controversial manner. It is interesting to hear that sometimes important events are skipped in the history that children are taught today.

Each of us has a personal history with dates that stick in our minds to be re-examined annually. We have birth dates, death dates, anniversaries, graduations, and a myriad of other events not only to mark time, but also to remember. Is it any wonder that with all these dates stuck in our heads, buried deep inside our brains, that we sometimes forget an appointment or a loved one’s birthday?

Today’s date takes me back to a day twenty-three years ago when I saw my dad leave this world. It was on the anniversary of his own dad’s death. I called my mom tonight and we talked about a lot of things before she brought up the date. I knew it was on our minds from the first “hello.”

Our brains are so complex that we can’t even comprehend all that goes on between our ears. I can’t visualize how many a billion is whether I’m talking about dollars or nerve cells in my brain. Understanding my brain would be a lot like understanding how I can write words on a keyboard and have this computer take those words and allow me to put them on the Internet where anyone can read them. Perhaps, as perplexing is to comprehend how anyone can totally understands how that process actually works.

Historical facts we learned, and our own personal history, is stored in our brains. We have much more stored in our brains than we can ever retrieve. If you are like me, you know it’s there, but can’t retrieve it at the moment you want it. For instance, if you are playing a game of Trivial Pursuit and you know the answer, but can’t remember what it is until immediately after the time is up. Worse yet, you need to know an important piece of information and instead of remembering it at the crucial time, you remember it in the middle of the night.

Memory and history are two parts of the same thing. When two people share a history, and Alzheimer’s subtracts that connection, it is a loss for both. Our page in history is our life story, and we want that story to be action packed, suspenseful, and with a glorious ending. With personal history, the dates are not nearly as important as the stories. The only test in life, is a test of self.

Copyright (c) September 2013 by L.S. Fisher

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