I Believe In Memories
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Alexa Mersman

Trees and I have a special bond. When I was around the age 8, we collided and they changed my perception of what a memory really is. I believe in the power of a memory. As we grow up our minds accumulate all sorts of different experiences that we want to remember. Whether it be our first time riding a bike, our first kiss, or our first car; all of these memories come and go, but for the most part we are able to hold on to them for our whole lives.

One camping trip my family went on an ATV ride. On this excursion, I got to ride on the back of an ATV with someone who had never driven one before. According to my Dad, some other motorists were heading towards our group so everyone pulled off of the path way. Instead of slowing and hitting the breaks, the lady I was riding with hit the gas and we headed straight for some trees. We collided with them and I was knocked unconscious. When I woke up, I was on the couch of our camper in intense pain. My head ached, my arm was scratched from shoulder to wrist, and I had no idea what had happened. Now, at age 18, I don’t remember how old I was, where we were camping or any of my memories prior to this event. According to my parents I was 8-9 years old. By this time in a person’s life you would have normally stored up quite a few memories. I remember nothing.

The memories I miss the most are those of my cousin Matthew. He passed away from leukemia when I was 7 or 8. He was only 18. Because my family lived in the same city we saw a lot of each other, so I should be able to remember him a little bit, but I don’t. When I think of him and my childhood it’s as if I’m grasping at nothing. The memories are there, but they are locked away and no matter how much I try to think and recall them I can’t. It’s hard to go through life knowing that I will never get these memories back.

I believe in the power of a memory because once some of them are gone, there is no way you are able to get them back. These simple recollections are able to make you smile and giggle with your friends; they form you, and sculpt you into who you are and who you will become. It’s tough to realize that I will never remember this part of my life, especially someone as important as my cousin. I do what I can to not lose something this important again by taking photographs along with writing in my journal a couple times a week. By doing this I’m able to hold onto what has the possibility of disappearing again.