What is the first thing I remember?

I’ve been asked that many times.   And of course, I really don’t know.  I mean, I have memories but the question is whether I remember these things or they were placed in my head by others.

Now, that sounds strange.  Truth is, I have a lot of pictures of things I don’t remember, people who I should know and places I have been but they don’t seem familiar in the familiar sense.  I have memories associated with the pictures but I wonder if I remember these things or if the memories are a product of the many stories that my older relatives have shared with me.

Do I remember things like my mother?  I wish I could say certainly.  Do I remember things about living with my Grandma?  Again, I wish I could say certainly.

Am I the only one that has this problem or do all adults forget things that once they might have remembered?  And if we all forget, do we ever remember?

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In the Presence of Great Rememberings

Today I sat and listened to my husband and his family discussing neighbors and old friends.  He was meeting a new/old cousin in person for the first time.  

My husband was raised by one family and born of another.  Only recently has he met anyone from the second family.  Sadly, the woman who gave him life passed on before he could connect with her.  

In the process of tracking down this family it has become evident that his birth family and adopted family were parts of a shared community in many ways.   And so, the sharing and remembering occurs.   

I sit and think back to when my own family gathered, years ago, and did the same things.  It had been years and I feel a disconnect to my history.  

I watched his family as I have done in the past and I feel a longing to have these types of remembering gatherings with my own family.  These people are blessed with the art of great remembering and I am blessed to witness them at their finest.