This is my entry prompted by The Book of Me, Written By You project created by Julie Goucher of the Anglers Rest blog. The concept: a series of blogging and writing prompts that help family historians capture their own memories and write about themselves. Go to http://www.anglers-rest.net for more information.
This week's assignment:
This week’s (Week 10) prompt is Unexplained Memories
Do you have an unexplained memory or memories?
Things and times you can remember, but you are not sure where they fit into your past.
Wow, another hard one.
The first thing that pops into my head when addressing this assignment is the image of my father, standing in the doorway of my bedroom one night, the lit end of his cigarette glowing in the dark. I am pretending to be asleep, so that he will leave. There were times when his alcoholism would get the best of him and he'd drag me out of bed for a beating, so I guess that's why this memory has stayed with me. It was a volatile household, at the mercy of my father's wild mood swings, so we always held our breath, waiting for something to happen. But, Dad didn't drag me out of bed frequently (only a few times that I specifically recall), so I'm not sure why I remember this incident. I have no memory of anything happening other than my father just standing there. I shared a room with my sister, so I'm fairly certain there was nothing of a more sinister nature associated with it. I don't know how old I was, but I do know it was after we moved into our second house, so I was at least 8. I'm sure Freud would have something to say about this, but I think it was just a coincidence that I happened to be awake one night when my father popped his head in to check on us.
What's weird is that this triggers another memory, one that I do remember so vividly. I guess it's because it involves me being in bed at night. It was July 1970. Our beloved Grandpa had been out for a visit the previous weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July. My brother was in bed in his room, and I in mine, both lying awake when we heard the phone ring at about 9:30 pm. We heard our mother cry out, "Oh no!" and knew instinctively that something was wrong. I don't know which one of us said it, but we wondered aloud, "Do you think it could be Grandpa?" Deep down, we knew it probably was, but we really didn't want to go downstairs and find out. We wanted to sleep one more night believing that Grandpa was still with us. In the morning, we found out that the very thing we were dreading was true...Grandpa had died from a massive heart attack. My brother and I remember that night so vividly--what was playing on the television (Hawaii Five-0), the time, the tone of our mother's voice, and that sense of foreboding we both had regarding the loss of our sweet Grandpa. Life would never be the same. I think for both me and my brother, it changed our view of the world, forever.
I can't think of anything that I haven't figured out an explanation for, or a complete story to go with. I have questions about things I remember, but alas, no one to answer them for me. I just need to leave those in the past.