Listening Can Be A Gift Or Help You Find One!

 "Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. ~Karl Menninger

Does this happen to you?  You have a convo with a friend or loved one and a  memory  is brought up. Remember when...  You listen to them and take note of a key word. Then this word keeps appearing in odd ways, books, TV and people say this word to you. The subconscious takes over and now this focus is heightened. You are more aware.  My Mom started talking about Russian Nesting Dolls. She bought one years ago and gave it away. She wished she had kept it. Do you give away stuff you like?  I know I do this a lot.

My Mom has a remarkable memory. I know I could say, for her age, but I won't. Her memory is remarkable for any age. She shocks her grandchildren with her memory.  I saw awhile ago a segment on 60 minutes about people, with extraordinary recall.  I found one of them had written a book. I bought it for her for Christmas. I received it today and I randomly opened it up. The page said, this:

"It's as though I have all of my prior selves still inside me, the self I was on every day of my life, like her or not, nested as in a Russian doll-inside today's Jill are complete replicas of yesterday's Jill and the Jills for all the days stretching so far back in time.  The book is "The Woman Who Can't Forget"~
Jill Price with Bart Davis.  It is the extraordinary story of living with the most remarkable memory known to science. It is called Superior Autobiographical Memory.

My Mom is not in this league, but she is still remarkable, her vivid details and the way she retrieves info. I call her and tease "Time to open the vault".  She accuses me of testing her too much, but I don't really need to.  I too have this and so does my son. Sometimes it feels like a gift, other times a curse.  The details of the past are so vivid.

The days I remember are driven by passion or an emotional tug of war. I don't remember all the days of my life, like the author. My memory does get me in trouble sometimes. People don't remember or I get odd looks and I hear these words, "Why would you remember that?" they ponder.  I don't know...why, but I do.   The key word Russian Nesting dolls came up again and I knew I had to purchase these dolls, for Christmas. I knew when she read the book, she will be reminded of the dolls. I wanted vintage ones, something similar to the ones she gave away. I found this on Etsy, aren't they cute.  I reopened my Etsy shop today; if you get a chance stop by. I hope to list more items, later this week.  I would love to hear about your memory or key words that stood out and connected in unique ways for you! 


Years after I was widowed I was still grieving not only for my husband but for my mother who passed away two months before hubby, the word that stood out for me after reading a self help book was "Acceptance" once I could accept what happened in my life I could start to "Live" again.

My mother has an amazing memory. So does my wife. Me, not so much. Even when one of them tries to jog my memory, I often don't remember. I do think women remember better than men.
And the friend who truly listens is a true friend.
Wanda said…
I wish I had the ability to remember more. I simply wasn't given that gift. Hope you enjoyed a Happy Thanksgiving.
Elizabeth said…
Great Blog.


Carrie Burtt said…
My memeory fails me in so many all the wonderful thoughts in this post Ella....profound and thought provoking....enjoy opening your Mom's is blessing indeed the memories of our mothers and grandparents. :-)
kaykuala said…
You brought into the open something real, Ella! I have seen the worst in memory failure. An old relation in the throes of dementia couldn't remember what she had for breakfast just 10 mins after. She would deny having had her lunch on other occasions and would relish having another tuck-in within the hour.
It frightens me as I see myself struggling to remember now and seeing the worst in front of my eyes. Not many years down the road it may be a reality happening to me.I try to keep my sanity by feverishly blogging. Been told it works! Whew!

Anonymous said…
Elle, first, I love the story about your mom. My grandma Blanche had an amazing memory, but she was bipolar in the 30s and 40s and they electroshocked most of it out of her.

Because I am also manic depressive, I am on a regimen of drugs that sometimes give me short-term memory loss for words. But I treat it like a joke... handing Lex some cheese and saying, "Would you please put this in the... the... big white thing we put stuff in to keep it cold?" And he kisses me and says, "How about the refrigerator?" I know it's not a permanent condition and I have to laugh at myself.

Thanks for this, Ella! Amy
Hi Ella .. what a great story .. and those memories - I have a good memory .. but not sure I'd like a better one!

However those coincidences keep popping up don't they - something triggers in the mind ... I do find that fascinating ...

Love the idea of the book and those dolls - I had three at one stage .. and someone else is enjoying them now I hope ...

Love the post ..cheers Hilary
Heavens2Betsy said…
Hello Ella, I really enjoyed reading this post. I have the most appalling memory and do so admire those who can remember facts and the details of their lives in the way you and your Mum can. I am a counsellor and to listen well is such an important part of the healing process. I really liked the quote you begin with. penny
Melissa Bradley said…
I love that quote about listening. I often find myself in the role of listener so when someone really listens to me, it is the greatest gift.

My memory is not so good, but I do like watching a movie or TV show that triggers memories for me. That is awesome about your mom's memory. I think that is just amazing. My mom and I both have bad memories so we bond over trying to remember. :)
Becky Shander said…
How interesting that you and your Mom have such a clear memory. Wishing you many more happy ones to fill your vault.
a very nice post, Ella ;)
And those Russian dolls are called "babushkas" :) which means "grannies" :)
Liza said…
I wrote in diaries for years. Sometimes I reread them and get to important things and wonder, "How could I NOT remember that?" I wish I were more like you and your mother.
Ella said…
I have an errand to run and then will return to comment! :D
Janelle said…
I love these nesting dolls. They are really pretty. I do not have a memory like that. I have to rely on my husband, but I do remember things that he doesn't so I guess it all works out.
PattiKen said…
My mother-in-law died last February at 94, after a long and happy life. She had Alzheimer's and spent her last year in a facility for the memory impaired. The opportunity to see how Alzheimer's seems to work was an amazing experience for me. Yes, it's victims lost their short-term memory. But oh, my, how vivid their long-term memories became.
Ella said…
Janelle-I like your view, sharing memory. My hubby n' I do that, too...but he doesn't remember to tell me stuff. Then says he did ;D
I love them, cute!

Liza-I love reflecting on diary entries, so powerful! Yes n' can be a curse, when bad memories are so detailed and make you feel like you are reliving them. Now, if I could tweak that...

Dezzy-I'm familiar with Babushkas.
I love the symbolism and the way they can tuck into each other, so cute. Thank you ;D

Becky-Thank you Becky! It would be nice to have a vault filled with them :D

Melissa-I love the idea of you n' your Mom bonding and remembering, beautiful~ I feel cursed a bit!

Penny-You have to listen, a lot then! For me it is about emotions, good n' bad. I wish I could forget some of the bad, but it doesn't work that way. Thank you~

Hilary-Thank you; it is nice you passed on your dolls! I agree, I wouldn't want the memory of the woman in the book. Every detail of every day of my life...ick! That is one full vault, no thanks :D

Amy-I love your spirit and your humor! Sorry to hear about your grandmother, it is sad~ I'll be by soon~ I had an aunt that was shocked, her memory has holes in it. Thank you for sharing!

Hank-It is sad, I hope you know we all have glitches. We need to delete some of the files we keep, that is all. I hope n' pray they find a cure for it, so scary to lose one's soul. I hope you are fine! X Your writing tells me you are :D

Carrie-Thank you, you are so right! It is a blessing to listen and hear their stories! :D

Elizabeth-Thank you! Nice to meet you~

Wanda-It is a blessing n' a curse!
Thank you, I hope you did, too~

Alex-You are so right about the friends who listen! Nice you are surrounded by women with great memories :D

Yvonne-For me, it was Dad died and two months later, his father, my Papa(grandfather). I called him Papa. Acceptance is a healing word~ xXx
LTM said…
I remember the oddest things. Very unexpected stuff that's so random. But I do agree with you about listening. I used to be a better listener. I'm so distracted these days. It's something I'm working on getting back to~ :o) <3