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Friday, February 25, 2011

Moments that have stayed with me

My first real memory, I was very small. I could not speak yet, and I was sitting in one of those wind up swings on my grandparents front porch. It had stopped swinging and I wanted someone to wind it up again. It was probably the spring or summer of 1962. It is funny, the things that stay with you. I am amazed that the moment was important enough.

My next memory is the day John F. Kennedy died. I was sitting under the dining room table, playing with my little brother, and my Parents, and Grandparents were crying. It scared me, to see everyone upset. It was November 22, 1963. I was not yet two years old. I am just 11 months older than my brother, so he was almost one. He says he remembers it, too.

I am not going to bore you with all of my memories. The truth is, I have forgotten so much that I should remember. Some memories are just feelings, fears, scars. Some are stories that my Mother told me of her childhood. She was a wonderful story teller, and her memory was long and vivid. She could describe smells, sounds, sights, feelings. I would wrap myself up in her stories. She was a bright and shining light.

I hope my Children remember some of the stories I have told them. I know that in the past, on long drives, I would start to recall something to share, and they would say that they already knew that, so I think I have been successful. I hope that someone remembers me fondly.

When my son Zack was born, I would just sit on the couch, in our apartment, and stare at him, with the greatest love. I never knew I could love someone so much. He fascinated me. He was a content baby, and seldom cried. He was big, and smiley, and happy. His eyes were the clearest blue.

Nate was born 14 months later. I was a bit more tired, having two babies, but he was a welcome sight. He looks more like my side of the family. Zack looks exactly like his Dad. It was nice to see someone with familiar features. He was a fiery baby. He cried a lot. He was sensitive, and allergic to milk. In the first month, I had to drive to my Mothers house, 150 miles away, just to get a break. He never slept. I never slept. He grew out of it, though, and became a happy toddler. I had two sweet, beautiful, smart little ones. Life was good.

My memories have a way of sneaking up on me. I hope to have them forever, but do not take that for granted. Memories are a precious thing. Meaningful and meaningless alike, they are all lessons.

My Sister in Law just asked me to administrate a Facebook group that is all about nostalgia. It is called Duluth in the 70's. She got too busy, and it was started just for fun, and all of a sudden 780 people were counting on her for little pieces of remembering. Now I am trying to navigate through the decade, and look for fun things. It is harder than it looks.

Coincidentally I started this post before she asked me out of the blue, so for today's post I asked about where they were during John F. Kennedy's assassination. It has nothing to do with the town I was from, nor was it in the 70's but comments started pouring in. People love remembering, even the painful stuff.

I leave you now, with this quote:  Underneath the tapestry, there is a mesh of various rough threads.
                                                                                          -John O'Donohue