Shards of Memory

They’re putting coins down a hole in the house foundation, my husband and son, for the future – either their future when they think to dig them up again, decades from now, or for some unknown future, for some unknown people.

The coins, this shared moment, all our shared moments, are the shards of memory we hold onto, shards that, like light, cut through dark times – ours and the world’s. 

They are monuments to the present, to who we are now, to who we think we’ll be in the future. They tell our future selves, “this is who we were then,” and they ask, “remember?”

They are the light we shine into the uncertain future, a piece of ourselves we send forward in time.

These monuments, these bits of the present which will become memories, will remain unchanged while we, we will change in unknown and uncertain but surely vast ways. 

They are changeless while the world and those of us in it embody change.

This point in time may be remembered differently by each of us – my husband may remember this as the day he cleaned out the hole in the floor, the time he and my son bonded over a common interest; my son will remember the rusty nails that came out of the hole and may think about how he and my husband agreed to put coins in the hole, about how for a few minutes he stopped thinking about missing his first dad; I will remember it as the weekend of the Paris attacks, the first time in years my son spent a whole day with his dad, and how safe and surreal and happy everything felt at home this morning – but though we all have different perspectives, the memory and the coins will always be part of our shared identity, our shared moment.

They are among the bright shards of light cutting through our family’s complex narrative.

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