a. the state of bearing in mind
b. the ability to remember
c. the period over which ones memory extends
d. a greeting or gift recalling or expressing friendship or affection
I am only 30 and I have trouble remembering what I did 2 birthdays ago, or what the daycare notes were today or those few years of my life when I was horribly awkward and vulnerable that I have blocked out. (Just a few years?)
As last week was Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday, and at the beginning of November was All Soul's Day and Day of the Dead, there has been a lot of pause lately given to honour those who have died.
If I take the time to think about fallen soldiers or members of my family who have died, there comes a realization that I do forget them the majority of my waking hours.
But when remembered, it puts into perspective what it means to be alive. The responsibility we have to honour and understand those who have gone before, and to refresh awareness of mortality.
Answers start to become clear to questions such as:
What really matters in life?
Should I really eat that donut?
Mainly though, I was affected this year by the slow descent into winter and witnessing the death of summer and how historically this time of year fits perfectly into rituals of remembering the dead. Also, singing in the choir for the church services brought out more meaning and colour.
When we are not personally affected by a fallen soldier, or enough time has passed since the departure of a loved one, it is easy to forget and downplay the pain as well as the joy of living.