Saturday, December 08, 2012

Memories and memories

RootsThe last two days have been filled with memories of events in my life. And they haunt me still and make me wonder what happened to those days. And what will happen in the future.

Yesterday... twenty-six years ago I was home alone and heard a knock on the door. I wasn't supposed to answer the door, even at the age of sixteen, but I knew it was important. So I did. It was the mailman with the certificate from the department of education saying that I'd passed my GED. I was thrilled! And was sitting in a college classroom in January. That first semester was amazing! I had to take several prerequisites and most of them were my choice. Ancient Religions and Mythology, Interpersonal Communications, and Psychology 101. I loved them all. I met people who were shocked that I was so young, and others who didn't seem to care. I got an A++ on the first essay I'd ever written (about the correlation of the religious stories told around the world). People read my poetry and gave me criticisms and praises in equal measure. I even had something put into the campus newsletter.

It was  a heady time for me and I felt like I was right where I belonged. I excelled that first semester and soaked everything up like a sponge. It wasn't until later, when I took the classes I was told to take, that I began to see college as a chore. I cared nothing for CAD (computer-aided drafting), BASIC, or COBOL. I trudged through those classes, finishing the assignments and still getting good grades, but the sparkle had gone from the world. That hurt, but I thought it was just how things were supposed to be.

Today... thirty-two years ago, I watched my mother's face drain of color when there was a news story on the radio. Someone very important to her, and therefore to me, had just been shot. Then, what seemed like an eon later, was pronounced dead. I don't remember anyone else in the room when that news came across the air, but I remember that my mom just sat there with tears coursing down her face, unchecked. She made no sobbing noises, but there was such a feel of sorrow to her that I wanted to take it all away.

I knew who John Lennon was, of course. My mother sang his songs to me while she played her guitar. She told me about how Imagine was on the radio while she was pregnant with me. And how he strove for peace during the troubled times we lived in. I knew he was more important to us than the president (yes, judge if you will, that's what I believed at the time.)

Tomorrow... Brianna and I picked out a tree yesterday and laughed as we tried to keep it upright. It was only after we got it home that we realized that the trunk was crooked and the whole thing was unbalanced. But we enjoyed the attempts to secure it in the base, and the moment when we realized that there weren't enough lights to really do the tree justice, and the time spent deciding where the ornaments should be placed.

And I wonder what memories will be carried forward into her adulthood. What will she look back on and smile? Or cry? Will she see me as I'd like her to see me? Or will time paint a different picture? And how will Anthony remember me to his children? Will he think I was a great woman? Or just someone who did what she had to do? Will they see their childhoods filled with magic? Or will they see them as filled with struggle?

I won't know, of course. All I can really hope is that I am there, sharing those memories with them. Sharing the laughter, and the solemn moments.

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