Friday, December 18, 2009

On the Fourth Day of Christmas....A Little History

Last night Mom and I went out to eat, and then we drove around our old memory lanes-the first house I lived in, until about the age of two, the house she grew up in, which happens to be the neighborhood the students I teach come from. We talked about the old days, the streets she walked down as a little girl, the first memories we have. My first memory is in my first house of my Aunt Lois sitting on a bar stool at the counter and eating a sloppy joe. I have two other memories from those 2 and younger years-one of Jason and his friend Jamie getting a 2-Liter of Sprite from the refrigerator and running around the backyard, and a memory of staying with a babysitter (for about half a day, that didn't last long), and me crying....and crying....and crying. Jason had to come in from playing with the other kids because I was not having it. I swear the lady gave me a shot, but perhaps I mixed that with a doctor's visit....or perhaps she really was that cry worthy. My first Christmas memory is in my second house (on the good ol' Circle). The tree was in the den (most years it was in the living room), and I got this little egg with a pink bottom, and a clear top with this tiny doll in a stroller inside. I don't know why this is what I remember. I also remember my Mom trying to match up the colors of the Christmas tree branches to put it together. We soon moved to 'real trees' when Jason and I were old enough to have a vote. I also remember this one Christmas when I found this shiny unicorn sticker on the ground outside on Christmas morning, and I KNEW it had fallen from Santa's sleigh, this was all the evidence I needed to believe! I was thinking last night about how full my head is with memories. I like to go back and pull those out, and I'm grateful for those little stories I get to file away. I thought about how important it was to remember my rememberings because you don't know how valuable that skill is until you watch someone slowly lose that part of themselves. I was thinking about my Grandfather who struggled with this towards the end. We recently visited his grave to leave a wreath for Christmas, a yearly tradition for him, my father, grandmother, and great grandparents, and I just can't believe it's been 9 years since he has been gone for Christmas. Towards the end Alzheimer's had stolen those memories away from him, but I was so grateful it never stole his smile, or his kind disposition. I also regret not having any memories of my own father, or my grandmother. I wish I had a snippet, something that could live inside my head for those times that I need to know they are still a living part of me. This year someone discussed eternal love at a funeral I attended, and though the location was not to my choosing, the message was. The preacher talked about the fact that even when a person is gone, their love isn't, and I do believe that, it is everlasting. I don't have any memories of some family members, but I don't doubt they loved me. There are people I've known for years I'm unsure of as far as their feelings towards me, but I know my grandmother and my dad must have loved me a lot b/c I have not negative feelings or doubt towards myself when I think about them, just their love. I can't remember the moments we did get to spend together, but I remember the love, I'd say that's probably the most important memory they left me with! I'm glad I have so many wonderful memories to visit at this time of year, and all the months between now and next Christmas.