I came accross this prompt “What is a memory?” We could interpret this many ways. Does a memory mean something different to you?
We all have struggles that we face and this is just one. This is the first time I have put this particular memory to paper. For some reason I feel better about the situation now that I have seen it in black and white. How many struggles do you face? How many do you remember facing?
Do you have positive memories you would like to share? Or a story in particular? If so, feel free to comment. And remember,
CHALLENGE #20 MEMORY
Memory is a funny thing. It can simultaneously take you back to your worst day and your best. It can pinpoint where childhood ends. There are times that you can smell every little detail of a day. I have a day such as that…
It was mid to late September 1993. It was a comfortable indian summer night. My parents had been arguing for days and my dad had taken a walk earlier that morning. I watched him leave from the upstairs window, with his duffle bag in hand. He had told me to go upstairs because he didn’t want me to see him go. This wasn’t the first time he had pulled this stunt.
My mom and aunt had just smoked their drug of choice as my siblings and I sat watching a rerun of the X-Files premier. There was a knock at the door. The rail thin form of my mom said, “Rosey, answer the door.”
Shrugging my shoulders I looked out the cracked front window. “Mom, it’s grandpa. And the cops are with him,” I told her with a hint of sorrow in my teenaged voice.
“See what your father did this time,” mom demanded as she slunk off to the bathroom.
Shrugging my shoulders at the inevitable reply from her I opened our creaky front door and stepped onto the rickety screened porch that was attached by a miracle. “Grandpa, what did dad do this time,” I sighed resignedly.
Grandpa’s aged features looked older than I had ever seen him and the cop at his side shook his head. Grandpa’s deep voice was heavy with tears as he ordered, “Rosey, I don’t care what you have to do, but I need you to get your mom out here now.”
This wasn’t the first time I had seen Grandpa angry, but it was the first time I had ever seen tears in that stubborn old man’s eyes. “Okay,” I answered as I nodded my head.
I went back into that little ramshackle house with its paper thin walls and walked to the bathroom where my mom was sitting on a pile of laundry that needed to be done. “Mom,” I began, “Grandpa says he needs to talk to you, now.”
Her dark, stringy hair shook with her head as I reach out and pulled her to her feet. I slowly forced her to walk to the door. Opening that creaky door I stepped onto the porch with her. I had every intention of standing by her side while she decided what to do with the current mess my dad had gotten himself into. That was no to be as I was told to go back inside and watch t.v..
After I sat back down it wasn’t but a few minutes before I heard my mom scream, “NOOOOO!”
The four of us siblings looked at each other and then at my aunt. She got up and went outside. Barely a few minutes later I heard my aunt yell, at the top of her lungs, “Are you happy now, you bitch! He’s dead!”
We sat there not understanding. Eventually we all went to bed in that house with its paper thin walls.
The next morning we found out the truth. Our dad had been murdered and my aunt had screamed at a neighbor that my dad often feuded with.
I was thirteen year’s old at the time and my world had ended. Today, twenty – two years later that day is but a sad memory in my life. I can remember the talk we had the day before he died and I can still see what he looked like in his coffin. I can still see the chunk of skin missing from his cheek. All of this I can still see and more.
Today I try to focus on the good memories in hopes that someday, the pain of that dreadful day will fade a bit more.