Friday, October 22, 2010

Memory Lane of My Mind

What’s your earliest memory? A recent trip back to the town where I grew up set off a storm of childhood memories in my head as any trip down memory lane will do.

While I have my own memories I find fascinating the recollections of people who knew me while I was a baby and child and are willing to share them with me. It’s like this whole other part of myself that I never knew existed is introduced to me for the first time.

I love my memories and I especially love when I have dreams that take me back in time, giving me the opportunity to revisit moments in my past I long for. What are my first memories? A few stand out most prevalently.

I recall being told by my Uncle Paul, one of my mother’s brothers, that I could not go outside with the rest of the family until I learned to tie my shoes.
 I seem to remember that I tried and tried, but don’t think I mastered the task at that time. I know I cried in frustration and perhaps I was given a reprieve because I associate that memory with peanut butter and fluffernutter sandwiches, which I hate the thought of.

Another memory is of me in kindergarten, spurred by a drive past my old school while on my trip home.

East Pembroke Central School where I went to kindergarten
It was naptime. I can still hear my child’s voice saying to my nap neighbor, “There an ant in your hair.” If memory serves me right the little girl screamed, went into hysterics and I got into loads of trouble.

My oldest brother Michael shared one of his memories of me, one I have absolutely no recollection of. Apparently I was sitting on the grass in our grandmother’s huge front lawn. My brother was, in his words “messing around” with darts and through one high and far into the air. He realized too late the flying dart was headed in my direction and took off running toward me in the hopes of avoiding disaster. The dart landed right in my leg just as he reached me and before I knew what had happened, he scooped it out of my leg. Blood and pain followed and in a matter of seconds I reacted the same as my little kindergarten friend; with screams and howls. I have no scar and no memory that I can find but it’s a great little story and I’m glad he shared it with me.

My two daughters have recently given birth and it was wonderful for me to be able to share with them my own pregnancy and birth experiences, comparing mine to their own.

That is one thing I missed out on, talking with my own mother about the things moms and daughters share. I can be grateful that I had the chance to experience the bonding with my girls. Another really great thing I get to do with my children, now that they are all grown up is to share with them books I read and loved when they were little. My girls both share my love of reading and now I get to provide titles of great books I read and was inspired by in the hopes they will like them, too.

It’s the creation of a shared history that really moves me. It’s also the one thing that my brothers and I hold so dear, for while we each have little to no memory of our mother and father, we have one another and in that one connection a true link to who we are and where we came from.

Lisa and her brothers, 1962

Around 1990

1 comment:

Ann Marquez said...

Beautiful post, Lisa. Family connections--each and every single nostalgic memory, no matter how small, is comfort ... reminiscent therapy.

Love the photos of you and your bros;o)