Friday, April 3, 2015

Leave A Memory

Sometimes I’m amazed that when one of the “oldies” comes on the radio, I can remember every word.  I can even harmonize with the melody. 

The other day, Neil Young’s version of Four Strong Winds came on one of the satellite stations I have my car radio tuned to and without a hiccup, sang along with the melody and at points, harmonized.  I had never heard Neil Young’s version before, and didn’t particularly care for it actually, preferring the Brothers Four version from back in the ‘60s. 

But that’s just one example of one song.  There are others, and the same can be said about movies.  There are times I can recite the dialogue along with the actors on screen.  Of course, my wife will say my mind is filled with useless trivia, but I contend that it’s at least filled with something besides sawdust.

Same can be said with old friends – not the brain filled with sawdust part. 

Aren’t there people in your life, longtime friends, who, when you get together after a long period of not seeing them, fall into the same patterns and pick up as if it were only yesterday? 

As I write this, I thought of Jack and Natalie who we haven’t seen in years until this past Christmas vacation, or one of my students, Steve, who came to a benefit in my son’s name this past October.  I hadn’t seen him in about thirty years, and it was like old times.  I have to mention Tom and Carol, (though Tom has passed away this past August) and their son, Jarret and his wife, Allie.  We see them and it’s like we’ve seen them just yesterday or the day before, though in reality, it has been years . . . too long, really.  Dan and Jenny, others.  Many others.

I read a post on Facebook Huck wrote on my son, Wil.  It was beautifully and powerfully written, full of detail and memories the two friends had with each other, the love they shared for each other, the friendship that was cemented together.  Though it was about Wil, it didn’t cause sadness, but instead, brought a smile.  I remember nodding my head as I read it and thinking, ‘Wil left a memory.’  For Huck, for me, for my family, for a whole lot of others.  A very nice memory.

And thinking about Wil, or Tom and Carol, or Jarret and Allie, or Steve, or Dan and Jenny, or any number of others, always brings me a smile and raises up in me a good feeling.  Thinking about them lifts me up.

Just like hearing an oldie.  I listen to a song and it propels me back in time to a place and with people and it creates a warm, good feeling.  It causes a smile and it lifts me up.  Hopefully, the same thing happens to you in that a song or a memory of someone brings a smile to your face, your eyes, and lifts you up.

Made me consider . . .

Just as I think of Tom and Carol, Steve, Jack and Natalie, Jarret and Allie, Dan and Jenny, what kind of memory do they have of me? 

Just as when a certain oldie comes on the radio, when someone thinks of me, do I lift them up?  Do I cause a smile?

Because in each life we touch, each person we come into contact with, certainly with the kids we teach or with the colleagues we work with, even those in our own families, we Leave A Memory.

Be it good or bad, happy or sad, leaving us wanting more or perhaps, wanting less, we Leave A Memory.  So I ask you just as I asked myself, what kind of memory are you leaving for those whose lives you touch?  How will they think of you in a year, ten years, many years down the road?  Is it the kind of memory you’ll be proud to leave?  Or, is it the kind of memory you’d rather them forget.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

For My Readers:

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am at the reception my three books are receiving- thank you!  When I wrote and published the first one, there were two thoughts that went through my mind: would anyone buy it? and would anyone like it?  I guess the answer to both is a resounding “Yes!”  So thank you.

But I have to say that the prequel, Taking Lives, didn’t have the rigor applied to it by the editor that it should have received, and for that, I apologize.  My name is on it and I take responsibility.  But I want you to know that the editor that was used on that book is no longer being used.  A different editor, a much better editor, was used on book one of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives and the same editor was used on book two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives.  I think you’ll be pleased as you read them.  I do hope that Taking Lives didn’t/doesn’t detract you from reading Stolen Lives and Shattered Lives.  I think all three serve a purpose: to bring to light a problem in our society, and just as importantly, tell a story of kids with heart and courage.


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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe