Becoming a Part of Someone’s Life Journey
I think constantly about things I forget and things I remember. Every person I run into and I have a moment with, that piece of me, that memory is forever imprinted in them.
I feel like I’m giving pieces of myself away sometimes, like to the people I walk past on the subway who take a mental snapshot of me in their minds.
Most people immediately forget what they just see (this is just the way the mind is programmed), but sometimes I wonder how many people may have a snapshot of me in their memories somewhere?
How strange is it that we only remember something like a fraction of a percentage of our total lives? How many snapshots and pieces of other people do I store forever?
In one of my memories from when I was 18 and volunteering inside a refugee camp in West Africa, there was a small boy in a blue shirt. I don’t know his name. I don’t know it because I was sitting on the bus, leaving for the airport, and never had a conversation with him. I just remember his blue shirt. Whether he’s alive or dead, I’m not sure. I caught myself wondering about this boy occasionally, thought about whether he had loved ones and if he didn’t, how sad it is if he lives and dies without anyone knowing his name.
That’s when it hit me. I realized he’ll live on in me, in that I carry a piece of him in my memory from that precise moment when he was exuberant and wore a blue shirt.
How many people can we affect positively or negatively? How many snapshots are we a part of each day? These are questions I ask myself all the time. Sometimes I wonder about death — perhaps it’s a bit morbid — but in the end, I always conclude the same thing.
Each of us is immortal.