Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

My very first memory is of my grandmother (sorry Mom, Dad).  I was probably around two years old at the time, and I vividly remember going out back of her apartment to throw out the trash. 

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. 


  1. It is good to remember our loved ones in our thoughts and prayers. Those that stood a post far from home and those who helped us in life.

  2. Growing up in the military, I wasn't very close to my grandparents at all. I'm happy you are able to have such great memories of yours! The main reason we are still living here is so that our children have the same great memories of their grandparents that you have. Thanks for sharing her with us!

  3. Lovely thoughts! I like the idea of remembering everybody that mattered to us, and I adored my grandma too. I hope you enjoyed the holiday!

  4. It is great to have memories like that. I never really knew my grandmothers, one died before I was born.

    The other died when I was 3. I only have 1 memory of her, which was when I said goodbye to her just before she died. Hm, I might turn this into a blog post...

  5. Your grandma had time for you and you built up so much love by the time you were 15, maybe more than lots of kids. Certainly more than I had, I wasn't around grandparents much, never maternal grandparents and not much on dad's side and then they died when I was really young. So hearing about the time you spent with your grandma brings joy to my heart, I can share something with you that you experienced and I thank you for your memories.

  6. It's easy to see why you loved her so much. I had a grandma like yours, but not all of them are. We were lucky!