What is it in our brain that makes us remember certain things and not others? I was having this conversation with a friend today. Both she and Matthew remember numbers and dates but struggle with facial recognition, whereas I can remember a face and name from my childhood years and random information about my best friend’s mother. (Like her favorite song…Unchained Melody.) But ask me about a time period in history and it is lost on me. For whatever reason, I don’t grasp numbers.
And what is it about an object or image that can bring back so many memories? Take, for example, this box of candy cigarettes.
When my sister and I were younger and still lived in Houston, we loved visiting my grandmother in Brenham. Even more than that, we loved visiting her with our cousins James and John. When the four of us were together, we would always walk across the street to the convenient store, with Mimi standing watch on her front porch. We’d take our money and buy a box of candy cigarettes and maybe some mombos or bazooka gum. Then we would pretend to smoke them. We thought we were hilarious.
But this box of candy cigarettes doesn’t bring back just that memory. It brings back so many more…playing soccer in her back yard, the smell of her house, watching The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady in her front room over and over again. Sara and I had veils she made us attached to headbands so that we could play “brides” when we were at her house. I could keep going and going with all the memories that come flooding back to me all from a box of candy cigarettes.
I of course had to buy some to mail to my sister, James, and John. They don’t taste as good as I remember and note to the three of you – don’t read the ingredients. Just enjoy the memories they bring back of our Mimi.