Reflections Blog

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Memory, a thought from Revd Ginni.

MEMORY Memory is a strange thing, isn’t it? I say this following on from a conversation I had with my grown-up children recently where we were reminiscing about family life when they were much younger. I was remembering one particularly difficult winter when I had three children under the age of ten, a husband whose job demanded extremely long hours of him, my own job which required me to work night shifts and the struggle I had to hold on to my sanity! To my mind, it was one of my toughest times and I commented to my children that I wasn’t a particularly good mum then as I was permanently tired and grumpy and that I was always moaning at them. They looked at me as if I was mad!!! “What are you on about, Mum” exclaimed my youngest. “Don’t you remember when we had that massive storm and when you came in from work late at night, we were all awake and crying because of the thunder? You and dad got out all the blankets and sheets in the house, moved all the furniture around in the lounge and made a den downstairs for us to sleep in. Each of us had our own little ‘cave’ and you and dad slept in there with us - it was the best night EVER”!!! There then ensued a very animated conversation about this warren of caves that Colin and I had constructed and it seemed that I was the only one who had viewed it as a last desperate measure to get even a couple of hours sleep before the school run in the morning, even if it did leave the house looking like a tornado had hit! It appears that my desperation had turned me into a hero! The same memory viewed from different perspectives. It reminded me that each of us can only hold on to our own personal recollections of times and events and from them we form opinions which can influence us for the rest of our lives. If, however, we seek out other perspectives on the same story, we can often see things we had previously missed, gain insights that hadn’t occurred to us and have a less narrow view on the events that unfolded. 2   This year, on Sunday 11th November, we mark the centenary of the end of World War 1. One hundred years since the end of the war that was thought to be the war that would end all wars. Of course, there is no one left alive who can recall first-hand the events of that war but their memories, shared and passed on to each generation, endure to remind us of the cost of war and to influence our thoughts and actions in the future. For many of us, we will never have known the horrors of war nor do the younger generations have any relatives to recall the memories first-hand. How then can they hope to understand the bravery, fear, courage and self-sacrifice of the generations before us, especially in a world that increasingly glamorises violence? How can they understand how fortunate we are to live in this country and to empathise with other countries that are in the midst of conflict? If lessons are to be learned, peace to be cherished, repetition avoided then it is vital that this generation remembers and passes on that knowledge. Our history, our past, our memories are important for the sake of our future, for a wider perspective - ‘Lest we Forget’. With love - Ginni

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