Memory Is a Tricky Thing


I had a goofy memory last night as I was setting all the clocks forward, something I hadn't thought about in years.  I remembered that my husband came home for R&R during OIF II right before it was time to "fall back" in October.  And at the time, I got such a kick out of the idea that our R&R would be an hour longer than everyone else's.  I love that time spent together was such a precious commodity that I was thrilled to have an extra hour invented out of thin air for us.

It's funny the things we remember and the things we forget.  As I was spending time with Heather S this week while she was waiting desperately for her cell phone to announce her husband's arrival home from Iraq, I was trying hard to remember what I did to pass the time on the day my husband came home, three years ago yesterday.  I can't for the life of me remember.  He returned in the evening, and I remember every detail of being in the gym when he marched in and going to the barracks afterwards to share a beer with his tank crew.  But the events leading up to his return, what I did with myself until 5 PM, those memories are completely lost to me.  I don't remember if I was nervous, jittery, calm, or cool.  I don't remember if I was at home or out-and-about.  I cannot remember it at all, but for some reason I can remember being excited about an extra hour of daylight savings during R&R.

I find it odd that I cannot remember what I did on homecoming day, conceivably the happiest day of my life.  It was so overwhelmingly important and life-altering at the time, and frankly I'm shocked that three years later it's a void in my mind.  Memory is a tricky thing; stuff that feels deathly important one day can be completely forgotten the next.  And though I was a blogger at the time, for some reason I didn't write about what I was doing or feeling that day.  At the time, I probably never imagined I could forget homecoming day, but now I really wish I had preserved those memories.  I'll remember to do better next time.

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