Memory Triggers

My paternal grandmother, mom, and maternal grandmother

From left to right my paternal grandmother, my mom, and my maternal grandmother

The other day I was listening to a Motown playlist on Spotify and the Temptations My Girl started playing. I used to sing that to my daughter when she was a baby. I would hold her close while we slowly danced and I sang to her. When the song started playing the other day, I was transported back to that time. I could almost feel her head on my left shoulder and us swaying.

We all have those memory triggers, whether it’s music, a smell, a location or something else that always reminds us of something from the past.

Every time I smell fresh rosemary I think of my dad. He planted a rosemary bush in the front yard of the home I grew up in and my parents still live in. Whenever he got out of his car in the driveway he would brush against the bush and come in smelling of rosemary.

Spinach pasta with pesto takes me back to dinner at my paternal grandmother’s.

Store bought chocolate pudding reminds me of my maternal grandmother (she kept some in one of her top cupboards and brought them out for my brother and me when we visited as children).

Even though my paternal grandmother died almost twelve years ago and my maternal more than forty, those things still remind me of them.

There are triggers for bad memories too, but it’s good to be able to easily access sounds, smells, and tastes that bring happy memories.

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