There's a poster somewhere that says something about not remembering days but moments. I think it's true, but why do some moments stick with us and others fade?
Why can you remember that day in elementary school when you were humiliated by some nasty teacher, but you can't remember the day they gave you the attendance award? (You have it; your mother saved it, but you don't recall receiving it.)
Why can I remember the feeling of that first roller coaster ride but have no memory of the first time I drove a car? Surely that was a big day, but it's gone.
Sadly, a lot of my vivid memories are bad ones: the doctor's face as he looked over my father's shoulder and shook his head at me, indicating the prognosis was bad. The time I went to the wrong funeral and realized it only after I'd said some things that undoubtedly puzzled those in attendance. The time I fainted in the emergency room...I wasn't the patient. I was holding my daughter's hand while they stitched up a cut in her foot.
Those moments seem to come back more intensely. I can almost feel the emotions again. But my wedding, the news that my first book was chosen for publication, our many happy vacations? There's a glow, yes, but it's dim, like a faraway campfire. It's the cutting memories that stay close, reminding us that life is always ready to keep us from becoming too secure.