When we don't see someone for a while we might keep them, in our minds, just the same as we perceived them before -- which may not have been correct in the first place, and may be even more incorrect now! Hopefully we remember the good things they did, but we may also remember the ways that they hurt us, whether intentional or not.
I have found that remembering the good things people do for us, and for others, can help us to love them better. It is equally important to forget the bad, and to allow that people can change. Most people want to be good people! I really hope nobody remembers too clearly the stupid things that I have done or said, and I want the people that I know to feel safe with me -- to know that I will remember the good in them, and will let the rest go.
It is also good for me to remember that I can change. I sometimes make the mistake of thinking that I am the same as I have always been, and in some core ways that is true. However, I am thankful to be able to look through my journals and to know that I have changed. I have grown up, and hopefully I have improved along the way. My cousin was right. People grow up, and they can change.
I couldn't think of a picture for this blog, but I suppose this works.