Awakening memories

Ever since we began our journey through Alzheimer’s disease with my mom, memory and how it works has been of greater interest to me than ever before. There are certain triggers that I know will awaken some of my earliest memories. The smell of Ivory soap always takes me back to my grandmother’s bathroom. Though almost 50 years have passed, I remember it in amazing detail… the old clawfoot tub, the washboard, the bare wooden walls, the violets growing in pots on the windowsill, the old-fashioned curling irons hanging on the back of the door.

Other times I’m completely amazed by something that suddenly comes to the surface of my memory. That’s what happened yesterday in the middle of a funeral! Knowing that she was dying, the lady who’s funeral I was attending had written down some of her own memories and they were shared during the service. She mentioned attending CGIT as a teenager. I, too, was a Canadian Girl in Training but I hadn’t thought about that in years. Instantly the entire CGIT purpose, recited at every weekly meeting for the five years that I participated in the non-denominational program for 12 to 17 year old girls, came back to me. Obviously it was firmly cemented in the deepest recesses of my memory.

As a Canadian Girl in Training
Under the leadership of Jesus
It is my purpose to

Cherish Health
Seek Truth
Know God
Serve Others
And thus, with His help,
Become the girl God would have me be.

I could hardly believe that it was still there in it’s entirety. Though my CGIT pin is still in the bottom of my jewelry box, I attended my last meeting in 1969! This really makes me wonder what else is still hidden deep within my mind and what it would take to access all of it.

Remembering the CGIT purpose has also caused me to do a bit of self evaluation today. Looking back at what I recited so faithfully all those years ago, how have I done? Did I go on to cherish health, seek truth, know God and serve others? I think I can answer with a resounding yes! Those four goals could still be my mission statement today. Does that mean that I’ve become the girl God would have me be? I’d like to think so but I know that I’m still a work in progress!


4 thoughts on “Awakening memories

  1. Interesting post. memories are so valuable. We don’t appreciate our mind in all its complexities until we start losing it. I recently joined a writing group. We focus on memoir writing and each week we have a “trigger” to help us recall memories, good and bad.. I seem to have a few missing years… I hope to soon fill in these blanks.

    • I have some gaps too. I sometime say that I’ve been blessed with a bad memory because it’s the most difficult times in my life that I remember least. I’m beginning to realize that those memories must still be there though, just not easily accessed.

  2. Oh, I love the CGIT purpose! I’m afraid I fall very short of the person I would like to be in the eyes of my Savior.
    Chanel No. 5 reminds of my mom…I still have her old bottle on my dresser…it’s comforting.

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