|Yesterday’s posting has me thinking more about memory, and what a wonderful thing it is. Just think what our lives would be like without our memories. We’d only get to enjoy things once, and never have a chance to re-live them again.
I’m reminded of a book that Lucca gave my kids many years ago. It’s called Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, and is about a boy who has lots of friends in an old folks home. One of his closest friends is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper. Miss Nancy has lost her memory, and Wilfrid is determined to discover what memories are so he can get her’s back for her.
He asks all kinds of people to explain the meaning of memories. His father said it’s something you remember. Mrs. Jordan who played the organ said it’s something warm. Mr. Hosking who told scary stories said it’s something from long ago. Mr. Tippett who was crazy about cricket said it’s something that makes you cry. Miss Mitchell who walks with a wooden stick said it’s something that makes you laugh. And Mr. Drysdale who had a voice like a giant said it’s something as precious as gold.
Based on all this, Wilfrid gathered together a box of things and brought them to Miss Nancy. At first she thought this collection was rather odd. But then she began to remember.
She held a warm egg and told Wilfrid about the tiny speckled blue egg she had once found in a bird’s nest in her aunt’s garden. She put a shell to her ear and remembered going to the beach by tram long ago and how hot she had felt in her button-up boots. She touched Wilfrid’s grandfather’s war medal and talked sadly of her big brother who had gone off to war and never returned. She smiled at a puppet on strings and remembered the one she had shown to her sister, and how she had laughed with a mouth full of porridge. She bounced a football to Wilfrid and remembered the day she had met him, and all the secrets they had shared. And the two of them smiled and smiled because Miss Nancy’s memory had been found again.