(photo credit: Back to the Future by Rooners Toy Photography on flickr.com. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode.)
I’ve never trusted my memory.
Even when I was quite young, I assumed that it was my memory that was failing me when somebody in my family told me that my version of a family story was wrong.
I’ve always known that I fill in the blanks in a story if I can’t recall exactly what happened. What I didn’t always know was that I was not the only one who does that; most people, at some point in their lives, do that, many of them unconsciously.
Now I’m much slower to believe that another family member’s version of a story is any more true than mine.
Except in the case of my mother’s memories of her grandfather, Benny Levin, who I mentioned in yesterday’s post (read post here.)
I spoke of how he was known to sit on the library steps posed like Rodin’s statue, The Thinker.
My mother sent me a kind email correcting me:
“Actually, your ancestor Benny Levin used to stand outside the Baltimore Museum of Art and stare at the cast statue of Rodin’s Thinker. The statue now sits inside the museum.”
She followed up that email with this:
“Maybe he unintentionally had an artistic bent which also runs in the family. He was a quiet, dear man, and it’s wonderful to remember him in such a positive way.”
She knew him a whole lot better than I did, since I never met him and she spent a fair amount of time with him during her childhood.
Since what I said was in the spirit of his character, I don’t feel bad about my confused memory.
I do feel bad that I don’t know much about this man, with whom I probably would have had a lot in common.
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