My little brother, David.
We spent a considerable amount of time together in high school. We were great friends, so much so that people always asked if we were dating. I would always joke and respond, “Ew no. He’s like my little brother.” And that is how I got a little brother.
We kept in touch when I was in college. And when I would come home for the summers, we would hang out like no time had passed. Even after I graduated, we remained strong friends.
Then sometime around 1998 we lost touch. He had moved to Austin & I was staying in Dallas.
After a while we ran across each other on My Space of all places. He introduced me to his wife. She and I would chat a lot. Then we all moved over to Facebook. Same deal. I stayed closer to his wife and mom than him.
Then suddenly I had to go to Austin for work. My wife wasn’t going to come with me so I decided to reach out to old friends. My little brother and I finally got to see each other again after nearly 20 years. And we picked up right where we left off. It was fantastic.
Until he started asking questions like, “Do you remember when…?”
Because I don’t. I don’t remember the stories and the details and even some of the people. “How can you not remember dating Billy one summer?”
Um…lack of oxygen to the brain as well as a stroke. That’s why I don’t remember.
I do sometimes get memories, images in my head or sensations I can feel with no association. I had this memory of being on the back of a motorcycle. But I couldn’t remember who I was with. I couldn’t see the face yet I could remember the feeling of the rain drops hitting my face and the wonder I felt because I had never experienced that feeling before.
For 6 months, I tried to figure it out. Suddenly out of nowhere I had the memory and then I heard a voice. It was David yelling at me, “For the love of God, woman, hold on.”
Anyway, David kept trying to feed me details to spark some recollection. Nothing.
I told him I trusted him not to tell me things that weren’t true because I would have no choice but to believe him. And being the doll that he is, he reminded me that he had never lied to me and never will. Sold.
People have asked me if I don’t remember, how do I know that we were friends? The truth is that I don’t. I have been tricked before and manipulated because of this. But that was before I knew to trust the feeling.
When I think of my little brother, I don’t necessarily remember a lot of actual memories. I do, however, feel safe. And loved. And happy.
I trust that. I trust that with everything that I am.
That is my memory now. That feeling that wraps around you when you think of someone. What you feel in the very core of your being that you get from someone, some place, or something. It’s stronger than any memory.
On the bright side, every story is new to me. And people love telling their stories without the limitations of my recollections.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”