A calendar is attached to our refrigerator. You know the kind, one that flips monthly, a picture on the top half (Me, I’m partial to all things Norman Rockwell; my wife prefers Golden Retrievers!) and rows of empty boxes on the bottom half. Those squares have notes written by my wife announcing various social and medical appointments, as well as reminders of important matters: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and the like. I know the real reason this calendar is there: to give me a strong visual reminder that I will have no valid excuse for missing any of those appointments. Every entry on that calendar causes pathways in my brain to fire up, to open storage files in my brain. The hippocampus in my brain’s temporal lobe is where autobiographical and event memories are created and placed in some gray matter file folder for latter access.
According to a November 24, 2020, post from Science Daily, Even though people tend to remember fewer details about past events as time goes by, the details they do remember are retained with remarkable clarity. The article notes the findings hold true regardless of age or the amount of time elapsed since the event took place. The study’s findings implied that specifics from a one-time real-world experience hold a truer recall of the event than previous memory research emphasizing the fallibility of memory. Ideas about reconfiguring, reconstructing or recalibrating our recollections are challenged by the study’s data.
Rose Kennedy wrote, It has been said time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wound remains. In time the mind protects its sanity, covers them in scar tissue, and the pain lessens. But it is never gone. For us then, save some catastrophic brain injury, there appears to be no river of forgetfulness, no River Lethe as the ancient Romans believed, to cleanse our mind, our soul of all its memories.
I found a quote from a novel by Isabelle Allende that hits upon this issue. She wrote, There is no death, my daughter. People die only when we forget them...If you can remember me, I will always be with you.
My calendar has nothing written in the box for February 1st. Doesn’t need any markings.
The calendars of the Brucia and Barbis families need no calendar suggestions for recollection or reflection. February 1, 2022 will mark eighteen years since the Carlie Brucia’s death. They will never forget.
Peace to them.
About The Rose BruciaEducational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. byeducating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.