I’m them

When I was young, I marveled at the aunts. They were living libraries. Ask them any family related question from medical conditions to birthdays and one, if not all, of them would know. Mom didn’t know? No problem, one of the aunts would, or vice versa.

Today it hit me. I’m one of the family walking libraries.

I should have seen it last year. My mother-in-law died and my sisters-in-law and I were fielding questions ranging from, ‘When did grandma get this?’ to ‘Who’s this picture of?’ In my defense I was in shock.

Today as I sat in a doctor’s office with my son for the first time in over two years it came around and slammed me in the back of the head. I know and, more amazing still, remember all of his asthma medications, what years he took them and which ones don’t work anymore. My son was seeing this doctor for the first time for his asthma and wanted back up. That and instructions on how the doctor should write the scripts for our insurance made his eyes cross.

I know basic medical information on every family member of this generation, and my friend’s kids. Privacy? What’s that when mom’s get to talking. I remember how old they were when they started driving, dating, their first heartbreak and greatest personal achievements. I’ve become one of the aunts. I’m the keeper of what came from where and who got what, when and how.

And then I wonder why my short-term memory isn’t what it used to be? LOL

As a writer this data base serves to deepen and strengthen my stories. There is a bottomless reservoir of emotion, facial expressions and silly, wonderful laughter. I’m pretty sure none of them would see themselves in any of my books. My characters are an amalgam, not featuring any one person in my life too pointedly. Still they are there and it makes my heart smile.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vvdenman
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 05:06:38

    I’ve sort of been thinking about this same thing lately. I remember things from years ago that “normal” people would forget in a few days.
    ie. From Mrs. Brown’s 3rd grade class: the word bookkeeper is the only word in the English language that has 3 double consonants. Why do I remember that? How old was I then? eight? So it’s been 34 years. I have only needed that information once since then, and nobody else around me remembered the answer.

    And those little memories that are filed away? Like you said, they come out in my writing. I think that’s why people read my work and say things like, “How can you come up with that?” But there is no way to explain it to someone that isn’t a detail collector like me.

    I think you get it, though. Nice to meet you!

    Reply

  2. sherilynwinrose
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 23:55:11

    yes, my mind works like that too! Hence, ask auntie, she’ll know.

    Reply

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