Memory Monday is a thing I’m trying…it’s like Throwback Thursday, but without pictures sometimes.
People say it all the time, “it’s funny what you remember.” That is such a true statement. I can’t remember what I did two days ago without really stopping to think about it, but I remember a fleeting moment from my childhood as clearly and as richly as if it just happened.
Growing up, I lived with my grandparents. My mother worked, we lived about a mile up a holler (again, this is a hollow for proper speakers), and I was a somewhat sickly child so it was just easier to stay with my grandparents. Even then, my grandparent’s house was a pretty good distance from the main road and there was a small stream (the branch) to the side of my grandparents house and a larger creek between the house and the main road. We would have to cross both the branch and the creek to get to the main road and there was a pretty clear path from the foot traffic of us walking back and forth. We also had this one “sweet spot” where you could jump across the branch and save a few steps in the trek home. I would usually watch for my mother to come home from work and run to meet her as she crossed the old swinging bridge.
I remember one particular day, I had rushed along the hay field and branch to meet my mother and she scooped me up in this big hug. While she was still holding me, she took off running toward the jumping spot. She leaped over the little steam of water and kept running toward the house. I was laughing every step and was sure we were flying. The most vivid part of the memory for me was watching my mother’s hair, long, blonde, and flying loose and free behind her as she ran.
As I grew older, I couldn’t ever really make up my mind if it was a real memory or something I had made up. My mother operated a steam press in a clothing factory. Her job required her to work in an already sweltering building with nothing except industrial fans and a few open windows to cool the large open room full of sewing machines and presses. Then add the hand press she operated, standing for 8 or more hours per day, with the steam shooting from the iron needed to made creases and flatten different types of material, it would make the strongest person tired. For years, I was scared to ask her if she remembered that day, running and laughing, with me. I reasoned that even if it was a real memory, there was no way she would remember because it was just any ordinary day. She always played with me when I was a child so it would be that uncommon of an event.
Finally, I had to know so I asked the question. I told her I could very well be making it up and waited for her to confirm if one of my favorite memories were true. She laughed. She smiled and said yes, it was a real memory and that she did that often when I was little. I only remember that one time. Or maybe my brain has smashed all the times into one beautiful, timeless life clip that plays through my mind from time to time.