John Wheelwright narrates A Prayer for Owen Meany from kind of a detached perspective: most of the events of the novel take place between 1952 and 1968, but John tells us the story from the present, which in his case is 1987. As a result, most of the novel is actually a collection of John's memories – in a sense, everything that happens has already happened. Of course, memory also plays an important role within the story he tells. Only a day before he dies, Owen asks John to play the "remember game," and they go over the highlights of their childhood together. John also depends on other people's memories to try to piece together his mother's secret life.
Memory is a source of strength and affirmation in tough times.
In A Prayer for Owen Meany, memories are often painful and do more harm than good.