Every encounter leaves a memory

God has blessed us with so many things in this world.
For a columnist like myself, who spends so much time writing stories based upon the experiences and memories of things and people I have known, the memory is of tremendous importance.
I imagine that is true of most everyone.

Have you ever noticed how people we know or love that leave us to move away or go to be with God, stay with us in memory often as we last saw them? It is almost like computers, when you call up a file, that image comes up on the screen.
High school reunions are a perfect opportunity for changing lifelong memories. We often think of our classmates as we last saw them, and then we are faced with trying to recognize them years later.
I know in my own case, when I returned for my five-year reunion, I had changed so greatly that not a soul recognized me except a couple of people with whom I stayed in touch.
Of course, for me, the social side of high school left a lot to be desired. Let’s just say, I was not on the “A” list. So when it came time for the reunion, I wanted to make sure that I represented myself well.
With the help of a long-time friend, a style consultant, I bought a new suit, got a new haircut and added that to the changes which had already occurred in my physical appearance from working out on a regular basis.
I chose to arrive early and offer assistance to the committee setting everything up. I wanted to see how they would receive me. They were glad to get the help, but did not know me, which allowed me a chance to just observe the arrivals. Eventually everyone had to check-in and get their name buttons that sported a copy of their senior picture.
After discovering my true identity, one of the “A” teamers — cheerleader and social leader — was so amazed at my transformation, she proceeded to parade me around with her hand over my chest where the name button was, quizzing many of the other attendees for my identity.
None guessed correctly.
Immediately, I became the center of attention. While I had held center stage for years as an entertainer, my status as a performer had mostly been unknown to my schoolmates. So, in this forum, it was a unique chance for me to become different in all their memories. I was voted the most changed.
Maybe it is a little self-centered of me then to place such importance on this recognition by my school peers. As I continue through life in the scheme of other opportunities the Lord has given me, it does not seem earth-moving, but I do look back fondly on that night when I felt like the King of the Reunion. While only a handful of those folks play an ongoing part in my life or connect through Facebook, changing the image in the minds of the others was a great blessing the Lord gave to me back then.
Every encounter we have with a person could be how they remember us for the rest of their lives.
If we think about that every time we walk out of a room, hang up a phone or simply leave our family to get a loaf of bread, that certainly places more responsibility upon us to leave them with a memory we would want them to have.
Certainly makes each day and each task a little more important, doesn’t it?