I have vivid memories of being age four, three, two and even as early as one. My mother said that wasn't possible. She used to say things like that, like her description of a “teetotaler”. “What's a Tea Totaler. I'd ask, thinking it had something to do with drinking only tea. “It's someone who doesn't drink”, she stated. Well, to a preschooler, I literally thought that meant they didn't drink anything and surely they would become desperately thirsty. I could not perceive how that was biologically possible.
Another of my earliest memories was the viewing of President Kennedy on T.V. as he lay in state. The whole country seemed to be standing still, suspended in time. A few short years to follow we witnessed broadcast of the Vietnam war on the same black and white T.V., that played-out in stark contrast to the safe and protected life my Mother provided me through her colorful explanations.
With my 3rd and last grandson's upcoming 1st birthday, I reminisce with the thoughts and accompanied feelings I first experienced a lifetime ago. I wonder what memories will permeate the boys' young minds whilst growing up. I think about the little things my parents said or did that made such a profound impression, echoed in almost everything I still do to this day.
Yesterday marked the seven year anniversary of my father's sudden death. I shared his last minutes with him as he asked about my one and only daughter with whom he had a deep and devoted relationship. Mom serendipitously left this plane at the exact same time of my daughter's birth, on her 13th birthday. They referred to one another as “Angel Friends”. Nearly seven years later, dad and I said our customary “goodbyes” incorporating our secret handshake. My daughter too learned the secret handshake she ritualistically performed with her “Krampa”. My father never knew his great grandchildren as he passed just one brief month before his granddaughter became pregnant. These milestone events reminded me that our “secret handshake” is the most memorable gift I can give to Sean and his brothers, as our patented connection, binding us all forever.