One of the ironies of life is that faulty memories are one of the tender mercies of life and relationships. Rather than holding on to hurts and wrongs, sometimes it is better if we just forget them. Of course with age and our own pride, we forget a great many things, starting with the hurts and wrongs we inflict on on others. Three examples come to mind today.
Story 1: Got a call from a case manager we had worked with when my husband was ill. We had been abruptly dropped from the program over some personal differences. I guess that was not enough to close the paperwork, and he called back almost a year later saying he needed to follow up on how we were doing. According to his memory (and records?) we were now working (true, but not last we spoke) and he wanted to know if he could help us with some of the things he had refused us before. What? I decided to chalk faulty memory up to an opportunity for me to forget past wrongs in hopes that someday someone else would forget things I unknowingly hurt them with.
Story 2: Another weird one was a family friend for whom my husband had tried to tune their piano. The piano had been in my husband’s family many years before and was in terrible shape, and needed several hundreds of dollars worth of work. He offered to give her a large discount on a tune and threw in a repair that affected the functioning for only the cost of parts, just to help out. The appointment took hours, and the lady talked at him the entire time, mostly about her financial successes and every stupid thing my husband had done as a teenager. When he finally finished, the lady pulled out $15, explained she wanted to take a big trip in a few weeks, and needed to save up on her fun money. The fact that she had already gotten $300 worth of work for an agreed on price of $70 was irrelevant. She is one of two people on our do not do business with list.
Anyhow, we ran into her a few months ago and she mentioned how much she enjoyed him stopping by every year and tuning her piano. Three times she thinks he as been there. What? It amazes me how differently two people can remember the same situation.
Story 3: Three years ago, my husband had a bizarre reaction to a powerful medication he was taking and as one of the side effects he would suddenly fall asleep in the middle of conversations or driving. He eventually he got to the point were he developed Swiss cheese type holes in his memory. It is so odd to have gone through such a difficult time with someone and they don’t remember it. In some ways I envy him.
Anyhow, our memories are miraculous things, and if we have mercy with others and ourselves, even their loss can be an advantage.