I think a big use for this blog will be for me to just write out my memories of my father--tidbits, whatever's still stuck with me. Lately, I've been wanting to just tell people, anyone, everyone, anything I can remember about my dad. I want to take my college friends home to Wichita and show them where my Dad struck up a conversation with Leticia's Mom. (Honestly, that could have been my Mom, for all I remember of the story--I was still a baby!) But I have this intense urging to take people on a tour of my memories. I want to show you all of my family photos, all of my memories.
And I'm not sure why. Maybe as a way to express one of the only things I do have of my father?
And maybe as a way to preserve him? The sooner that memories like this are recorded the better (even 12 years later!) I've read over and over again, that each time you remember an event, you are not remembering the original moment, but merely remembering the last time you remembered. And when you remember something often, it's all too easy to misremember and mentally "save" an incorrect memory. I read once that there was a study done on memory focusing around people recalling where they were when they found out about 9/11. And from what I recall (haha, ironic), when the researchers compared people's recollections to journals and written evidence recorded right after the fact, people had often completely falsified memories--new locations, new people etc. Which, honestly, is a bit scary to me. I like to think that what happened in the past is immovable (until we unearth new archeological evidence countering all previous claims.) But memory is mutable. What does that mean? That all I have left of my father (I do have a bit more than memories--I'm writing for effect here!) is worthless?
Perhaps. Luckily I'm also writing about my memories because I like revisiting them. It's soothing, actually. And me and my faulty memories is what I've got.
I do have a binder of letters of stories and friends and family members sent to my mom and my aunts that I deeply treasure--those stories show a side of my father that I will never know any other way--my dad at work, as a colleague, as a fellow adult, as a former nephew, a childhood best friend. But even though I love rereading those (and hearing tidbits that someone mentions at family events, when they manage to do it without god damn tearing up!), it feels important to revisit and acknowledge my own experiences, from my own unadulterated lens of memory and childhood.