I heard a story on NPR some time ago of a man using a table saw who accidentally cut off one of his fingers. The severed body part flew off into the corner of his shop among scraps of wood, sawdust and other debris. After he managed to stop the bleeding he and his family looked frantically for the missing finger, hoping they could take it with them to the hospital to reattach and save it.
Remembering is something like that. Sometimes an important part of us becomes lost, has for some reason become dis-membered. Maybe our parents or others have intentionally kept some troublesome parts of our family’s narrative from us. Or maybe we’ve just plain forgotten some things from lack of reviewing significant aspects of our story. Or we may have willfully cut off some painful part of our past we simply didn’t want to deal with, or some relationship we no longer wanted to be a part of.
But distancing ourselves from parts of our past can be like losing a part of ourselves, like a body part, or member. In remembering we are re-attaching, are re-connecting, so that healing and growth can take place.