The drone of a vacuum cleaner.
My mother used to take me off to her cleaning jobs when I was a baby, sitting me on the floor while she worked.
Just hearing that noise takes me back.
I don’t know exactly how old I was, but maybe about six months.
Submitted by Julie Grainger.
I have a “snapshot memory” of sitting on the kitchen floor.
The sun was becoming warmer every day.
Since I was born in the spring, I would estimate that I was about a year old.
Something really important happened that rocked my world just then.
On the floor with me was a little beach ball - I guess it was one of my toys.
Suddenly I realized that I recognized this ball as an item that I had seen before.
I realized that even when I couldn’t see it, it existed.
This was my first awareness of time and memory.
Submitted by Elizabeth Jacobs, who describes herself: “I am a Norwegian/Irish Minnesotan and I am 58. I have a very high IQ and I joined Mensa, but never participated. To me, it is almost like normal adults have Alzheimer’s. I will see a friend, walk up to them, and pick up our conversation where it left off, only to discover that they don’t even remember me, much less our friendship, and certainly not our last conversation.” You can read more detail about her memories at the Experience Project.
Sharpening my pinky with manual pencil sharpener.
My father carries me to the coat rack.
We fetch my white-and-orange teddy coat or cape with fastening strings with white pompons attached to them.
He then walks with me on his arm to the neighbouring house where my aunts live and they meet us at the hind door.
They fasten the strings, while I am still on my father’s arm and make a fuss over me laughing and talking, like you do with a little child.
I know we were on our way to the hospital, to visit my mother who was there after the birth of my little sister.
A second, but fonder memory, is of my grandfather who died when I was 18 months old.
He had ALS (a muscle wasting disease which kills in the course of a few years) and in the end, he could only swallow food with great effort.
Because of that, he would only eat pudding, ice cream or fluids
and got very thin.
I remember that my grandfather always gave me from his glass bowl of vanilla ice cream.
And that he gave me the whipped cream off of his coffee.
I remember standing at his right side and that my mother said something along the lines that I should not eat all of his food away, but he and my grandmother insisted that it wasn’t a nuisance.
I don’t remember the exact words, but I remember the situation and how he always sat in the green chair with the high back.
My grandfather was a war hero, a righteous among the nations, and died when he was only 66 years old.
Submitted by Gesine Weckmann. She saysof her first memory: “My sister was born when I was 15 months old, to the day. I have recollected this memory as a child because I had a doll with an orange-and-white teddy jacket. Seeing the jacket one day, the memory came back and I asked my mother if I had had a teddy coat in those colours during the time my sister was born. She has confirmed that this was the case. No photographs exist of me in this coat, so that I am positive that the memory is genuine.”
Of her second memory: “It has been confirmed by my mother that the image I have in mind is genuine: the tall chair, the ice cream and coffee with whipped cream on top.
“I have a few more fragments of memory from before the age of 2 and I very consistently remember my childhood from the age of about 2,5.
“My memories from Kindergarten are no less vivid and coherent then those from my first day at work.”
Searing pain in my hand.
My right one.
I’d grabbed hold of the poker that was used to tend the open fire in the house I grew up in.
My Dad had turned his back for a second, and I hadn’t until that point been able to crawl.
There is a faint scar, although that could be my imagination.
When I look at it, I can feel the hotness all over again.
The mind playing tricks, I suppose.
Submitted by Julie.
Sitting on my father’s lap and looking up at him.
It was before I was even 10 months old because that’s when he left.
Never saw his face again till I stumbled upon a photo that was hidden away.
I was immediately able to identify him due to my first memory.
I am 21 years old now.
Submitted by Sheila, a fashion design major. Follow her Tumblr, C’est la vie
People singing songs around a piano, not sure when but probably Christmas.
I know I was young, but can not place age exactly.
Let’s say about five years old.
Memory is difficult to place with accuracy.
I do recall being happy.
Submitted by Jane S.
It’s in a big grey room.
My mother was holding me.
She handed me to some people dressed in white.
They carried me across the room and put me down on a high long table that was soft with thin legs.
She seemed to be far in the distance.
They tried to grab my wrists and ankles.
I struggled and kicked with my arms and legs to evade them, thinking it was worthwhile, but they were very determined.
Their persistence was strange to me.
They got hold of my ankles first, but were not satisfied with this and kept trying to get my wrists until they’d pinned me down.
At some point I started to cry, just out of irritation really.
It wasn’t frightening, just annoying.
Turns out I was 6 months old, and having blood taken in a hospital. I always assumed as a young child that the veins in my wrists had been put there by these people.
I knew they had done something, although I don’t remember any pain.
Walking my bicycle out of the garage.
Stabilizers and all.
Submitted by Steve Dunn, a designer/developer with a burning interest in thought patterns and behaviours. He has a site: Steve Dunn UK and you can follow him on Twitter here: @SteveDunnUK
Seeing my Dad punch my Mum.