Emotions Link Memory

I read in a textbook once that events connected to emtions are easier to remember. I was surprised to read that until I started reflecting on it. All these years, and a hot spot of memory when I let my temper go in front of the entire youth group at my church still really sticks out at me. The conflicting emotions still constrict my chest. I was being misunderstood and it  was making me angry. I also clearly remember the shocked look on people's faces that quite little Katy was making such a big fuss. I remember running away in embarrassment and having to endure a lecture I felt I didn't deserve.

There was a lot of build up to that point. I doubt the adult I was yelling at ever really understood what I was trying to say. A minor incident in my life, but the emotions sure were strong... Would they disappear if I forgave her?

My dad surprised me when he said he was angry with the truck driver that crashed into the car when my mom died. The police asked my dad if he wanted to press charges. And he himself said he was surprised by the anger he felt toward the truckdriver. I was never angry at the truckdriver, but rather sad. I don't think there was anything he could have done to avoid it. What I did feel was a strong sense of anxiety. My whole family's dynamics was going to change. What was my dad going to do now? Statistics of spouses dying withing a year or two of their spouses spun through my head. It wasn't until the funeral swelled with hundereds of well wishers that I really felt peace.

My dad is moving in a couple days. A chapter in my life is closing, and I'm wishing for the closure of walking through the rooms in the house and saying goodbye to memories. But I'm here in sunning, snowing, orange leaved Michigan, and he is 14 hours away.

Emotions are a necessary part of memories. I think they are what give them color.

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About Katy

The Center for Adventist Research is a Branch Office of the Ellen G. White Estate, the editorial office of the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index, home of the Adventist Heritage Center, Andrews University Archives, and the James White Library Rare Materials Collection. In my job I work with varying projects such as organizing off-campus week-long tours, pre-production of booklets containing papers presented at a symposium, and supervising students digitizing photographs and reel-to-reel audio recordings. This job requires self-motivation as many of the projects are dependent on my initiative. It also requires attention to detail, good communication skills, and a healthy dose of creativity.
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