Where Do I Put Those Memories?

Country music legend Charley Pride sang about a lost love many years ago and asked a question that haunts me today as I gaze at the signs of autumn around me:

Where do I put her memory?

     I can’t chase it, erase it, I just have to face it…It’s gonna be there a long, long time.

The days grow shorter, the pinestraw falls freely from the ancient tall pines that surround our house in Columbia, the red and gold and brown leaves from the dogwood trees mingle with each other in the straw on the ground in the back yard, the magnificent oak that hovers over the patio pummels the bricks with acorns that make Chelsea sick when she eats them, the temperature drops fifteen degrees from the scorching summer highs and the humidity decreases to a reasonable level.  Football fever takes over the weekends and wins and losses affect moods in our home.

Autumn has arrived.  There’s no doubt about it.  The days will now be a blur through the end of the year.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  The holidays propel us to another year faster than a speeding bullet.  Hide and watch.

The losses in this year have been enormous for my family both here and in Texas, and it’s the second year in a row for these life altering events.  So many are gone that I feel like The Rapture occurred and I was left while all the good ones were taken.   I’m looking for a place to put those memories – those reminiscences of  my times with the lost ones.  I’m grateful to have them, but I’d like to have a box to put them in so that I could control when I wanted to release them into my mind.  Today the memories control me instead.

I can’t chase them, erase them, I just have to face them.  They’re gonna be with me for a long, long time.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Where Do I Put Those Memories?

  1. salemwest says:

    Sheila – here’s hoping that as 2013 puts on the brakes and coasts onto the off ramp, that you will be able to merge into 2014 at full speed, with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face.


  2. Susie List Strode says:

    My memories of you and our get out of Texas trip in 1968. We were brave and you even stayed there for a long time. I wish you well and hope to see you someday. My home base is still Colorado. Susie Strode


    • Hey Susie List Strode – Wow – amazing to have you reply to the Memories post! Thanks for responding – we really were brave and it was a memorable get the hell out of Texas trip, wasn’t it? The 1968 Buick Skylark was a cool ride for us. I also wish you well and would love to see you again. Colorado is one of my favorite states.


  3. Left behind with free floating memories is a difficult place to be. Those memories won’t be corralled into a box even if you had one. It’s the unhappy task of the last ones standing to make sense of life’s punches, though the good memories help us sculpt a personal monument to our private battles and achievements. Courage!!!

    Love and hugs,


  4. Ann,
    Free floating is such a great way to describe memories that refuse to be boxed in. Your words of comfort are always an encouragement to me. Thank you for caring.


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