How did you meet your best friend? What were you for halloween in middle school? What did you have for dinner last night? Everything that just went through your head, even if it was ten years ago or just last night, is a memory. Children start remembering things by the age of three. However, at seven years old, these early memories begin to fade. That’s why it’s hard to remember your first birthday but easier to remember your elementary school teachers. Everyday memories are created and remembered. They connect us to the past. Yet some people can’t make these memories as easily.
My grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, which meant she couldn’t remember much anymore. My sister and I were scared when our parents told us, but they said not to worry. Shortly after, she was moved into an assisted living home, where she helped in the garden. Gardening was her favorite thing to do and I remember her planting a flower with each of her 18 grandchildren at her old home. After a life filled with lots of love, my grandma passed away in February of 2017. Grams funeral was full of family, friends, and people she’s touched in life. Full of tears and hugging. Towards the end, my aunt came up to and slid a beautiful gold ring on my finger, she explained how it was the one gram wore everyday. I fell in love with it, but was confused on why I got it out of 10 granddaughters. Despite that, I wore it with pride and haven’t taken it off since.
Memories are what we are. Without them we would be nothing. They change us as people and affect every single decision we make. I remember my first track meet ever during freshman year. I was a tiny 14 year old who was nervous for a week leading up to this day. You would have thought I was giving a speech to the president, but in reality I was just running one lap around the track. Surprisingly I survived it and have run many more laps around the track since, but the adrenaline and feeling of that first one will never leave me. If it wasn’t for track and that first meet, I would be a completely different person than I am today. I would not be as strong physically or mentally and not be determined to go after a goal, even if someone said it was impossible.Some memories have changed your life forever. I remember when my parents told me I was going to have a little sister. I was only three years old at the time, but I remember crying hysterically. Screaming about how I didn’t want a little sister, but a pet bear instead. But it turns out, a little sister wasn’t going to be that bad. Melissa is my other half and I wouldn’t be close to the person I am today if it wasn’t for her. She has taught me how to do a backflip on the trampoline and more importantly to smile even when it is hard to do. She has been my best friend, just one door down.Memories are amazing to keep but that doesn’t mean they are always positive. You go into high school with everyone saying how you won’t leave with the same friends you started with. I did not think that was the case with my group of five. With sleepovers every weekend full of laughing and future wedding planning to concerts and beach trips, we were always with each other. The school knew us as a group and we were rarely apart. Sure, we had our fair share of fights but I never would have thought one would end it all. The following week I was lost and confused, I only knew life with my girls. I thought the world was over, but life goes on. I grew stronger and learned to be more independent. It’s hard when people you love leave your life, but nothing occurs at random, there is a reason.
My grandma couldn’t make new memories or recall her past ones. She couldn’t remember her wedding day or even the names of her kids, but I have the ability to do that. By wearing her ring, I feel as if I am letting her have some of my memories. When I first got the ring, I didn’t understand why it had been given to me. It took me a year, but I finally figured it out. My aunt chose me because she knew I’d be able to take on all the responsibility. She knew just this simple gold ring would teach me a lot. Teach me to live in the moment. To remember the good memories and get through the bad. Teach me to make memories and hold on to them for as long as I can.