Memory is a beautiful thing, that is, when it is working. I must confess there are many times in which my memory is on some kind of a vacation.
What I want to know is simply this, how do you know you have forgotten something if you have forgotten it?
I do many things. I cannot remember exactly why I do them. Behind everything I do is a reason for why I do it or those things that I do not do. I must confess I am quite a reasonable person along this line.
Without memory, we can take many things for granted. We go through motions we do not know why we are going through them, we just go through them.
Everybody says that when you get older your memory rather takes a backseat. That may be the case with me, I am not quite sure. I cannot remember.
I must confess it is a great asset at times to have a memory failure.
For instance, when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage accosts me and says, "Did you remember . . . ?" She may have sent me to the grocery store to fetch something or she may have sent me, God forbid, to the mall to pick up something she ordered online.
When she asked this question, I always respond by saying, "I forgot, you know my memory is not what it used to be." It is an easy way to slither out of something I have forgotten to do. The older I get the more plausible this excuse is, I just cannot remember why.
However, on those occasions when she is a little more exasperated than others at me she will say, "Your memory never was what it used to be!"
What that means exactly I do not know. She probably told me sometime in the past, but right now, I simply cannot recall. I am perfectly happy just forgetting that for the time.
Why is it I can remember things I do not want to remember and I cannot remember the things that I need to remember? For instance, I can remember the year my wife was born, but I can never recall the month or the day. As a good husband, I should reverse that, not remember the year and positively remember the month and day.
Why is it when my wife is giving me a piece of her mind, all I can remember at the time is a funny incident that happened to me earlier that morning? Smiling at a time like that is not advantageous to a happy life of the husband. When she asks, "What is so funny?" I cannot tell her I was not listening to her but thinking about something else.
My memory was jogged earlier this week when a certain incident happened at the post office.
Anybody who knows me knows that I am not in any way shape or form a hugger. I am a firm believer in what the Bible says, "the right hands of fellowship" (Galatians 2:9). I am vigorous in this handshaking ceremony. That is about as far as it goes.
I had quite forgotten my position along this line, or rather; I should say why I came to this position.
Standing in a very long line at the post office at which time I was in somewhat of a hurry to get through, a lady walked in. She looked at me and says, "Oh, it's so nice to see you. I haven't seen you for a long time." Then she caught me off guard and gave me a hug.
I did not know who this woman was; I could not remember ever seeing her before. With the way my memory is these days, I pretended as if she was a long-lost friend of mine. She chatted about stuff that really did not make any sense to me at the time. I smiled and nodded my head and chatted away to her about things I am sure did not mean anything to her.
I was not really paying attention and as the line moved forward, something dawned on me.
You know how it is when all of a sudden something hits you. Your vacationing memory comes home and unpacks. Well, that happened to me standing there in line.
By the time I had figured out what had happened, it was too late to do anything about it. When she hugged me, she stepped in front of me and therefore was ahead of me in line.
I had one of those "aha" moments but there was nothing I could do about it at the time. I had to swallow my pride, display a contagious smile across my face and take it like a man. A man who has been outwitted by some lady he had no idea who she was.
I now remember why I do not do any hugging. I know all hugs are not equal but with the memory I have I do not remember the difference and I am not taking any more chances.
Driving home from the post office, I remembered the wise words of King Solomon. "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
If I could just remember that, I certainly would be okay.