We are caretakers of each other’s stories
Whenever I get together with the woman who was my best friend in college, we inevitably tell each other stories from our college days.
Because we were roommates for three years and spent an enormous amount of time together, she is part of most of my college stories.
Fortunately we have many shared memories. Yet many times, when I tell her a college story about the two of us, she doesn’t remember the particular memory I’m talking about. The same thing happens when she tells me a story about something the two of us did. I can’t recall that memory.
We always laugh about this and neither one of us can figure out why this happens.
It’s almost as if, when the actual event happened, I subconsciously said to myself, “I don’t have to remember this because she will.” And vice versa.
It’s also frustrating because some of the stories she tells are wildly interesting and I wish I could remember them!
I don’t know what to make of this except to say that it’s like each of us has been appointed to be caretaker of some of the other person’s stories. For some reason, it’s my job to keep the memory alive of certain stories about my friend and vice versa.
It’s also humbling…my memory of my college experience is incomplete because I need my friend to provide the missing stories.
It’s also highly intriguing to listen to a story of myself when I can’t recall the actual memory. It’s like watching myself in a movie.
All of us are caretakers of each other’s stories.
When you discover that you are in possession of a story that the other person doesn’t remember, treat this story like a gift.
Just like libraries have rare book rooms where they put their most special books, you should, with the same care and reverence, file these stories in a special place in your memory and bring them out on special occasions.
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