Monday, May 28, 2012
I know. Pretty special.
I read somewhere that our earliest memories are probably remembered because they involved some sort of heightened emotion or trauma. In my case, I think the reason I remember going on that trash walk with Grandma is that I was very new to walking. So walking in a gravel ridden alley was, at the time, practically analgous to summitting Mt. Everest.
I remember the anxiety I had, trying to navigate ALL the way to the trash dumpsters over that rocky wasteland of an alley. I somehow knew, in my still-forming brain, that I needed to walk because Grandma couldn't carry me. Her arms were busy with the trash.
Also very vivid in my memory was the comforting feeling that, throughout this precarious trek, Grandma was at my side and would remain. I realize now that it must have been a painstakingly slow process for her, but she never left my side and I never worried that she would.
In the years that followed, my grandmother remained a major part of my life. Her apartment was my home away from home, and I was there several days a week during the summers. I'd sometimes bring friends over with me, and she welcomed everyone with her same cheerfulness.
She encouraged my art hobby, she encouraged my schoolwork, she encouraged my participation in sports, she encouraged... me.
When I was 15, she died.
It wasn't unexpected, her time had come. We certainly missed her, but life went on.
Today is Memorial Day. CiCi reminded me that it's not just about those who have died in service of our country, but also a day to remember all loved ones who have inspired us and passed. And besides, Grandma did serve. She raised my dad who went on to serve in WWII, which is how he met my mom...
So, for this Memorial Day, I think of Grandma. My first memory, and many others.