February 7, 2014 at 8:23 pm , by Nick Shell
3 years, 2 months.
I have a theory.
It’s sort of like the one that asks, “If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?”
My theory is that if you’re the only one in this world who witnessed and experienced an event, or at least the only one who still remembers it, then in essence, that event only happened because you remember it happening.
For example, I remember when I was in 3rd grade, in 1990, giving my teacher Mrs. Lawrence a Kudos bar (a chocolate covered granola bar) after I had already taken it out of the wrapper and placed it inside my cold metal desk.
I had just played a prank on Ferne Taylor, the girl next to me; where I pretended like I was going to give her my Kudos bar. In reality, it was just an empty wrapper.
After I performed the joke, I offered the chocolate covered granola bar to Mrs. Lawrence instead. (Why didn’t I give it to Ferne?)
I still remember the confused look on my teacher’s face, as she politely turned down my offer of a naked granola bar that was sitting in my desk.
The very next day I made it up by giving Mrs. Lawrence a Kudos bar, but this time, it was fully enclosed in the wrapper. (Again, what about Ferne?)
Now, that may seem like a random story, and it is…
But I’m sure that if Mrs. Lawrence or Ferne Taylor happened to read this story on Facebook, there’s a good chance they would have no memory of this event happening whatsoever.
In other words, this story only happened because I clearly remember it happening. I keep it alive with me; especially if and when I share this seemingly uneventful story.
Similarly, if a group of people remember the same memories, good or bad or neutral, they can exclusively travel in time to a different time and place.
A DeLorean would be convenient… and really cool. However, that’s not how time travel works.
Those random memories in our minds are the bookmarks in time that, in a way, help us instantly revisit those times and places anytime we want.
And that brings me to us: our family.
Our family of three will make, share, and revisit all kinds of warm and fuzzy memories for the rest of our lives.
The stories we will reminisce about may not seem special or funny or even that interesting to anyone else. But for us, we will be travelling back in time, because shared memories are like a time machine.
What we remember becomes our reality. We are creating our own shared reality each day.
That’s what these letters to you are all about.
I am attempting to expand our collection of family memories, so as we all get older, the three of us will have more places to “travel in time.”
Photo: Diana Taub Photography.