Real Memories?

I often think about my childhood, memories are all I have left.

I remember certain moments in graphic detail, the sights, sounds, smells and emotions.
There are some details I have blocked, painful memories, repressed them for my sanity.
I often wonder about my memory, it is reliable, can I trust it?

Are the images I recall vividly real? Did I remember it correctly or has it been coloured by my imagination?

I can recall games with my brother, us youthful and lively, laughter piercing the bright sunshine, green grass glistening with morning dew. I am about three years old, my brother seven. I have a brilliant blue bucket trailing behind. It is shaped like a castle, but there is no sand in the garden. My brother sat on the front step, pretending to be grown up, imitating my mother and grandfather, sucking on a chocolate cigarette.

I can recall this memory as clear as the crystal glasses from my wedding day, so it must have happened.

Well, this is where I get confused, because when my mother passed away I acquired the family photographs. In one of the black bags that contained every snapshot of our childhood, in a number of photograph albums, was a familiar scene.

I recognised the bucket, the boy on the step. Now I'm wondering whether I saw this picture and that formed my memory or whether it just happened to be taken at the exact moment I recalled?

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