Memories

by Carolyn on July 10, 2009

heart shaped locket

heart shaped locket

We all have our memories.  Some are good and some are bad.  A million little clips and images that when put together spell out our lives.  What is your very best memory?  Ok, that one can be difficult.  What is your very best memory of your parents?

I think my parents might be surprised about what my most cherished memories about them are.  Because I know how hard I try with my children and how hard they must have tried with me.  To give me the things I wanted.  To give me the memories they thought I would hold dear forever.  But looking back as an adult I realize that my most favorite memories of them are not the trips to Disney World or of getting a big present.  They embody something much more special than that.  A moment when loved flowed so easily between us that it felt as natural and necessary as breathing.

Being a child of divorce and of blended families, I have more parents than most.  Four, to be exact.  Two biological parents and two step parents.  And being that my biological parents were divorced when I was three, I don’t have any favorite memories involving them together.  But I do have my favorites.  One for each of them.  My post Footnotes got me thinking about those memories.  From a time when I was still innocent and they were just my parents.  These are my very best memories of them:

My Dad – When I was very young and my father and I still lived in the same city, I would sleep over at his apartment often.  I don’t remember the exact number of nights a week I was there, but that’s not important to my memory.  On those visits, I would look forward to one thing.  Bedtime.  Because we had the best bedtime routine going.  He had bought me a stuffed racoon puppet that I had named Rocky.  And at bedtime, he would tuck me in and pull out Rocky and we would talk and tell stories.  Me, my dad and Rocky.  The best part was when my dad would have Rocky take his own bedtime bath and wash behind his ears.  He would stretch his little paw up and actually perform the action.  I thought it was so funny and I would ask him to do it again and again.  And he would.  Over and over, just for me.

My Stepmother – This memory is from the same time frame as my dad’s.  It occurred in the same apartment.  My stepmother was always crafty.  And she always had crafts for me to do.  I loved it.  I remember making little stained glass ornaments.  They had the metal outline and a bunch of little coloured beads that you would put in the appropriate areas.   Once all the areas were filled, you put them in the oven and baked them.  The heat would melt all the little colored beads and they would look just like stained glass.  They were the most beautiful things I had ever created.  Doing crafts with her was always something special to me.

My Stepfather – My stepfather is very musical.  And all of my best memories of him are filled with music.  Whether it was driving in his Volkswagen bug and singing Popeye the Sailor Man while pushing the horn button on the dashboard or watching him play the piano, music would inevitably surround us.  But there was one song he would sing to me. And I loved to hear it.  My song.  From him to me.  This memory is so strong that I have done the same with my own children.  I have one song for each of them.  Their songs.  Sung with love again and again.  This was my song: I can’t give you anything but love

My Mom – So many memories.  My favorite one may seem a bit odd.  One day when I was quite young I was laying down for an afternoon nap with her.  We laid our heads beside each other.  Our long hair intertwining between us.  I decided to run my fingers through my hair and was surprised to realize that I couldn’t even feel it!  I began tugging a bit and was astounded again that it didn’t hurt.  I became a little scared.  Why couldn’t I feel myself pulling my own hair?  I pulled harder and harder trying to figure it out.  Finally my mom looked over at me, smiled and said ‘ouch!’.  Yup, I had been pulling her hair.  And the whole time she never said anything.  I’m not sure why, but that gesture represented something very special to me.  That she loved me enough to let me tug on her hair.  Loved me so much that she didn’t even stop me.

Yes, we as parents try to create these moments for our children.  Giving them something that we know they’ve been craving.  Taking them somewhere that we know will be spectacular.  Trying to gift wrap our own perception of what their favorite memory should be and placing it in their little laps.  But despite our best efforts, those memories usually fade into the background.  The ones that become ingrained on our souls are made up of different stuff.  Simple stuff.  Love.  With very little scenery to overshadow the feeling.

No matter what course my relationship with my parents have taken.  Regardless of the twists and turns we made.  I have always had these memories.  Moments in time that will never change and cannot be taken away.  They belong to me.  One piece of each of them that lives inside of me; safe and secure; my heart like a locket.  And there in my locket they will remain. For all the days of my life.

  • I invite you to comment here regarding this post.  I would also love to read about your favorite memories of your parents.  If you would like to share your own favorite memory, please leave them  here .
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Urchin July 11, 2009 at 4:06 am

I absolutely love that you have favorite moments with each of your respective four parents. It’s really nice to know that you were able to have them, in spite of (and a little because of) the divorce.

I particularly like the story about your mother. It just has this really nice, whimsical quality to it that should never be lost. No matter how many years pass us by.

Thank you for the smiles you brought me reading and re-reading this post.

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2 Carolyn July 11, 2009 at 9:52 am

I’m glad you enjoyed this one. It’s interesting to me how such seemingly ordinary moments can become so special. Are there no moments of your own you’d like to share?

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3 Urchin July 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I’ve been trying to think of at least one…

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4 Robyn October 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Those are nice memories to have. :)

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5 Robyn October 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Hmm, well, I can remember going on trips with my real father, he was a television producer. I used to watch him and the cameras and the sound/lights. Of course , when you’re younger and you stand around and wait on the set or in the field you can become bored but I liked the hotel stays and swimming pools. Most of the time my father was an absent dad but those good memories linger.
.-= Robyn´s last blog ..Threadless Tshirt Giveaway at jaypeeonline.net =-.

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6 Carolyn October 13, 2009 at 10:27 pm

That sounds pretty neat, but having an absent dad is always hard. I’m glad you have those good memories.

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