That’s the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question. The question is who are the grandchildren mentioned in The Beatles’ When I’m 64. Vera, Chuck and Dave. Once you know it you don’t forget it, and you hear the names every time you hear the song. And I find that to be the case with many things. Some things you learn and hold onto for a period of your life – like the subject matter for a quiz you took in school. Most of it disappears into the gray matter of your brain.
But then there are things you remember forever. I’m not talking about the life moment stuff like the birth of a child or your wedding day, but the minutia of like that somehow holds enough meaning to stay locked in your memory bank ready to pull out at a moments notice. Vera, Chuck and Dave are just that – trivial bits of information that stay with you once you learn them in a different way.
This goes for visual memories as well. I’ll never forget flying through the air in slow motion when I was hit by a car at the age of 10, or the expressions of the driver and his wife as I made my way to their windshield. I was lucky to survive that flight, and I won’t forget it. Nor should I – for better or worse, that was a highlight moment for all the wrong reasons. What’s more interesting to me are the little, seemingly insignificant moments that I remember vividly years later, while things I wish I’d remember better disappear never to return again.
Life is funny that way. You can sing the lyrics of a song you haven’t heard in years, but you can’t remember what you said in your wedding vows. I can remember a hundred other things from the day I got married, but I couldn’t tell you what I said in front of my bride and a couple of hundred friends and relatives. But even though I can’t remember the words I’m certainly trying to live the vows anyway.