My mother always says that the human brain has the great power to remember only the happy memories, while the sad memories simply vanish. My sister always disagrees and says that our sad memories do not simply vanish by themselves. She says that we will them to vaporize like smoke. I disagree with both of them and believe that memories, whether good or bad, should be preserved.
When I was 9 years old, I was on my school’s track team. The annual race was coming up and nobody doubted that I would win. I always did. The day approached, I ran and I lost. There is a picture of me taken barely a minute after the race had ended. I look like a vampire who has swallowed a foul tasting medicine. I attached that picture on the wall beside my bed was forced to look at it everyday. When the next race approached, all I had to do was glance at the hideous photograph, and I was fueled with energy to train harder and longer. I won that year because I remembered that heart-broken girl whose photograph resided beside my bed. There is another picture next to my bed of a young girl with black hair and hazel eyes. I am constantly in awe of her and how she well she endures whatever life hurls at her. She whispered to me once, through sobs, that she would not change a single moment of her life because even though she has known great pain, she has also experienced great happiness. After all, one can only realize how wonderful the idea of heaven is if one knows about the fires in hell.
The day I truly realized this was the day my grandmother died. For one terrible moment I had wished that I could erase all my memories of her, but in the very next moment I felt ashamed of my thoughts. Then, suddenly, I wanted to twirl around the swing set, waltz through the sprinklers, roll down a hill because I finally understood that only through all our memories, the good and the bad, can we truly become who we are meant to be.
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