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Powerful Memories

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Chanukah is just about over; last night my family lit our seventh flames and, as is our custom, I sat and watched them for a few minutes and let my mind wonder. After a brief mental jog around what exactly will happen when Agents of SHIELD starts up again in March, my mind sort of settled on memories. We all have them: the good ones and the bad ones. Of course, the most powerful ones are those that bring up emotions and take us back to that moment. 

This Chanukah, I experienced three moments connected to deep, powerful memories.

The first involves cookies. Yeah, cookies! Every year we wait and wait for my wife’s Chanukah cookies. It’s a recipe that is unveiled only once every 12 months (like a comet for your taste buds). Our 15-year-old son has been helping my wife make them since he could stand. It’s sort of their thing and every year he jumps in and rolls the dough, uses the cookie-cutters, and sprinkles the colored sugar. Their tradition never started as a platform to build memories, but that is what it has become and it’s the coolest.

I am probably the only one that still owns his childhood “dreidel collection.” I took some with me when I went to college, spent two years in Israel, went back to New York City, got married … you get the idea. My brother visited us recently and he was shocked to see that among the dreidels my kids were playing with was one from my old collection. It triggered a few memories for him, as it does for me. My kids, after years of spinning, know that my old dreidel really does spin better than theirs.

Lastly, I’ll open up (it’s easy when you are typing and not talking) about a personal memory. My father, of blessed memory, died five years ago. About once every 6-8 weeks I will stop by a Walgreens and make my way to the men’s fragrance section. I will glance up and down the aisle to make sure no one is around and grab a bottle of Brut cologne off the shelf. I take a quick smell, put the bottle back and leave. What can I say? My dad was a Brut man.

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