Please remember me

How do you want to be remembered?

This is a piece about memory.

Memory is a fickle thing. In fact, memory is so skewed in time, that there are statutes of limitations for how long you can try someone in court, given the witnesses’ memories would have faded past being able to be a reliable witness.

The thing about memory is we don’t choose what we remember or even how we remember it. It just happens. Little things shift and change, often completely foreign to a similar retelling.

In recent tiktok videos, I’ve often seen people show a video and label it “core memory” with a comic effect implying that this event is SO important that, of course, it would be remembered.


Unfortunately, it’s just not like that. You can’t make sure your kids remember the one time you took them to that fancy restaurant even if to you, it was a huge deal since it took you so long to save. There’s no forcing with memories. You can’t actually just cry out “core memory!” Or even “Remember this forever!!!!”

In fact, with kids, they often remember the generals. They remember consistency. They may not remember the lessons from school for example, but they will remember who was there to help them with their homework for those lessons.


I remember my father taking me after boy scouts to get these ham calzones, which were the best ones I ever had- dad and I both going for the ham and my brother plain. It was the best part of tagging along to my brother’s meetings. I’d later find out they were maybe not the best calzones in the world, just fried instead of baked– but that’s not the point. I remember. The consistency I remember, the love I remember, the laughter, not a specific event itself.


I remember my mom taking us similarly to a different pizza place, every single Monday after school. We would sit in our special booth and eat while we did our homework. The booth was special because it was attached to the counter and so we could order more, and get refills at will. We would pretend to be royalty and get to be as lazy as we wanted. I got orange soda mixed with this purple punch, a concoction my mom would order for me every time, with a face that said ‘Please I know it’s annoying to mix them, but she’s my kid and she wants it.”

Now I wish I could say that we solely remember the good, the consistent, and the happy little things in life. Sadly again, our brain and memory work in extremes, like me. And it’s sad to say, but we remember the bad, maybe even more easily than the good.

Our brains connect to these wretched moments and store them in maybe the biggest filing cabinet in there. These memories are ready to be triggered and the file pulled out at will, while it feels like the articles of the good are not in a cabinet but loosely floating papers in our brains.


I remember like it was yesterday, in high school, on my schools softball team, a practice where we had to run the bases full speed for a drill. Running was never my strong suit, or speed rather, so this was not something I wanted to do. I wasn’t popular on the team and was often made fun of, a benchwarmer, or designated hitter at best.

Well during the drill, I ran as fast as I could. I really did. I’ll never forget rounding second and as our coach yelled “Full speed!!!!” our first baseman mocked and said, “That is her full speed!” The way she said it made the entire team laugh, hysterically actually. I’m not sure in my entire life, I’ve ever had a more movie-esque moment of pure torture and straight up bullying. I wanted to leave right then. These weren’t my friends joking with me; these were mean girls and I never forgot that comment. I never forgot that tone. I never forgot the laughing. And I never fit in with that team, ever.

I actually don’t remember anything else about that teammate, except this comment and how much it broke my heart.

I remember going every single day to a two hour practice and putting in so much time, just to feel badly about myself every day after I left.

I would eventually quit that team before high school ended, the only team I’ve ever quit for good. I remember my coach probing, asking why I quit on AIM instant messenger, and telling her I had family problems, a lie because we all know the only people that can stop bullying are other players, not the teacher or coach.

I tried to stick it out, but in the end you’ll find, sports are so much more than just the sport itself.

Of all the teams I’ve ever been on, this was the only one that truly left a bad taste in my mouth, as they say. Thankfully it didn’t steer me away from sports, but it did change me. It made me vow to be better.

I vowed that I would never do that to someone if I could help it. I would never be the player to make someone want to quit, want to cry, want to leave practice.

I did run into that player many years later at her place of work, me a mere customer. I knew her right away, and yet her face told me, she had no idea who I was.

And yet, she changed the whole trajectory of my life. One simple comment and I was no longer a softball player.

Think about that for a second. Think of the effect that this, now STRANGER, had on me.

Yea, we remember the bullies.

I remember another scenario that happened in fourth grade– yes I said fourth grade. I don’t remember my fourth grade teacher’s name but I remember this comment. A boy from another class walked right up to me and said “You’re as big as a house!” I was shocked. I actually didn’t know this boy, at all. He never spoke a word to me, before or after, but that phrase and I literally remembered it forever.

Years later, I would find out that boy grew up to die of an overdose, left by his friends or whoever he was with alone to be discovered. When I found out, the memory came right back. I felt so badly for that now man, or was man, and his family, but that comment is all I remembered about him. That’s all.

“You’re as big as a house.”

Can you imagine passing away and that is what you’re remembered for?

This always stuck with me.

That poor boy definitely had issues of his own, so this isn’t about him, but it’s about the idea that every moment of your life, maybe small to you even, may be huge to someone else. You may be part of a memory that someone has forever.

What kind of memory do you want that to be?

I want to be the person who is remembered for the good, the little things– the day makers. At the very least, if it can’t be the good, I hope I’m not remembered at all, a mere player in the game of other’s lives.

I strive to help in this life, but again, at the very least– I strive NOT to hurt. It is so hard to make a lasting impression on anyone for good, but it’s so very easy to hurt for good.

Please remember me: A short poem 

Please remember me
For the way I spent my lunch
Hanging with my students
Making sure their day was okay
Not for the days
My lessons were trash
Tired, burnt out and spent

Please remember me
For the way I loved
When I was loved in return
Not for the way
I gave too much of myself
To the wrong hearts,
Left in shambles

Please remember me
For the athlete I strive to be
And how much work I put in
Trying to smile the whole way
Not for the times I gave up,
Drained and broken

Please don't remember me
For all those things
I never wanted to be

Please remember me
For my good, and all the
Benevolence you did see