Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Memoir and Back Story Blog Challenge: A Day Late and a Dollar Short

     I eagerly signed up for this challenge way back in September-when October seemed so very far away. And then time did its tricky thing and shifted-and suddenly it was October and I actually thought it was Monday yesterday-so-therefore still September.
     Now that I have come to grips with it being October-I am about to do my very first posting-which was meant for the first-today, on the second.
     I liked the idea of exploring what I think is my first known memory for this post. In my mind I can see the stairway landing as clearly as if it was before me right now. There is bright sunlight shining through the curtains that are pushed to the edges of the windows. This causes the wee bits of dust in the air to shimmer and shine in that appealing way that has always drawn me to an area or an object. I like shiny.
     I described the area to my father once-and he said it sounded like the stairway in his parents house. In talking about the toys I am playing with, he agreed that those would have been toys his mother had saved from his childhood.
     I know I am perfectly happy as I play. I am safe, it is warm, and life is good. As an adult, I also know that I have to be under the age of two and a half in this moment-because my grandmother died when I was 2 and a half. Her house was sold and I never played on that landing again.
     It is a sweet and lovely memory to me. But it also frustrates me. It frustrates me because I can conjure up this moment-but have no recollection of my own of the grandmother that saved those toys, that loved me so dearly. There are plenty of pictures that provide proof of this love. There are lots of stories from cousins and aunts and uncles that give life to that love she had for me. But there is no memory saved away in a dark corner of my mind for me to draw from on my own.
     It is further proof to me that we need to tell our stories and those of the folks that have gone before us. We need each other to be keeper of the love that is among us. It is by sharing stories that we keep connections alive. It is our way to nudge each other into eternity.


6 comments:

  1. It's amazing, isn't it, what our minds save and what they discard. There seems to be no logic or reasoning behind it.

    I feel like I've come to know several members of my family who I never met through pictures and stories that others have told through the years. It gives a sense of where I came from and how we all got to be who we are.

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    1. It is interesting to be able to have that sensation that family we have never met have still had an impact on our lives. I certainly believe that is a real possibility-and that it is a truth in my life.

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  2. Stories and photographs help cement the memories we hold. For years, I could only remember my first mom's hands, not her face. Her hands flitting about me, toweling me dry, placing pats of butter on dry toast. Funny little moments like yours on the landing. Maybe it's partly because at that early stage in development we are me-centered and don't have much awareness about others except as to them meeting our needs. In your case, you had grandma's toys; in my case, the hands.

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    1. I think that is so true...we notice what we relate to-and at that age it would be the care we are given---not necessarily the care giver. Your words make me feel a little better about the randomness of my own memory.

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  3. There is a saying that we remain alive so long as someone says our name. Once no one does that, we are gone forever. I very much relate to your visceral memory and to the flashes of scenes like the sunlight, the shimmering dust and the landing. It is important to tell our stories. We are all so different, and all so much the same. Thanks.

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    1. I believe I read about a concept similar to what you describe---and I remember finding the idea both comforting and haunting.

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