There are only a few moments of my life that I can remember completely clearly.
My very first memory could be considered somewhat unusual, for two reasons:
- I was about two years old when it occurred.
- It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
My mom and I were driving home from somewhere, and we came up to a four-way stop. My mom stopped, then started driving through the intersection when a car came barreling towards us, crashing into my mom’s door. This was back in 1993, when the laws weren’t so strict on children sitting in the backseat if they are under the age of 12. So, naturally, I was sitting in the front seat, which brings me to my very first memory: an airbag exploding in my face, hitting me in the chest, and being surrounded by white.
From this same occurrence, I have two more memories.
- Laying on the floor of an ambulance, being rushed to the hospital, trying desperately to lift my head up from the neck brace that was pinning me against the stretcher.
- Sitting on a hospital bed next to my mom while they examined her.
Luckily, my mom and I were fine. I suffered several bruises from the airbag, and my mom is still reminded daily of this accident thanks to the early onset of arthritis in her left knee, which was pinned down from the smashed-in door during the accident.
The second most vivid memory I have happened while I was playing rugby back in 2007. My team was in Milwaukee, playing against another high school team from Wisconsin whom were absolutely terrible at the game (we ended up beating them 105-0). This was at the beginning of my first season, and I was thrilled because I loved winning, and we were a team that was ranked third in the nation.
About halfway through the first half, my teammate passed me the ball, and I took off. Back then, I could actually run decently fast, so I was flying toward the try zone, with the closest girl about twenty yards behind me. Suddenly, I felt a pop in my left knee, and I was crying before I hit the ground. I posted the ball behind me, then proceeded to curl up and just cry like a baby (which, to this day, I’m slightly embarrassed about). My coaches rushed onto the field, bewildered as to why I fell when I was within arms reach of scoring. They carried me off the field, my mom took me to the ER, and I was diagnosed with a torn ACL and meniscus. I later found out that I had stepped in a hole, which caused my knee to hyperextend and pop out of its socket, snapping my ACL in the process.
At this point, it’s pretty obvious that my two most pronounced memories include pain and trips to the hospital. Of course, I can remember other things, like tobogganing with my dad at Lowell Park or running the beer pong table for three hours with my boyfriend last summer, but neither of these memories are as clear to me as the painful ones (perhaps due to the excessive consumption of alcohol during the latter example). I have come to the conclusion that this could be from one of two things.
- I’m a natural pessimist, and therefore don’t like to remember good things.
- Somehow these memories are more important to me than anything else.
I don’t know which of these is correct, or if it’s a mixture of the two or neither of the above. What I do know is that it intrigues me, and I want to find out why, when I’m asked to conjure up a memory, one of these two always pop into my head.
If anyone is still reading this pointless rant, I would like some insight. What are your most prominent memories, and why do you think they are so vivid?
Holly, not Hollie