What’s Your Earliest Memory?

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There’s a very good reason why I call this blog “Memories Matter.” It is because they do.

I was trying to think of my earliest memory today. I have one but I’m not sure if it is accurate. I am on a dock, being held by an adult, waving good-bye to someone on a boat. That’s it. That’s the memory. I couldn’t have been more than two or three years old. And I do have my doubts that the memory is accurate.

For the first four years of my life I lived in Bainbridge Maryland.  It is located a short distance away from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. But do I really remember a time when I was four or younger (young enough to be held aloft by an adult)? I don’t remember who I was waving goodbye to or who was holding me. But I still have the vague recollection of the event.

The very fact that I am now questioning this memory proves how fragile memory is. Without documented evidence to back up our mind’s recollection, there’s no telling if it is real or imagined. In my case, I have no photos, film, or written correspondence that would lead me to think that the event occurred. But I can still see the image in my mind’s eye.

This is why I encourage families to update their family histories (photos, slides, videos, film, audio recordings, etc.) into a digital form. Once digitalized, those memories become more than fleeting images that pass through the mind. They become documented pieces of personal history that can be revisited and remembered as factual events. More importantly, they can be handed down to the next generation as a family legacy. Our lives matter to those who love us. For that reason alone, our memories matter as they will tell the story of our lives to those who follow us.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

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