Sunday, November 17, 2013

First Memory

My very first memory is death. 

Papa was in a bed like mine-except it was much bigger.

I remember loud voices at the door.

Many years later, I learned that my mom and her sisters had a disagreement about whether we should see him. 

My mom thought we should. We must have been saying goodbye. That part I don't remember. 

He must have been in a hospital bed with side rails to keep him safe. It seemed like a crib to me.

When I read his obituary I discover he died at home. He was sixty four. I was twenty-three months old. 

That is my only memory of Papa-my mom's dad. There is a black and white photo of him holding me at my baptism, standing next to my Gran. I wonder if that was before he got sick. 

His obituary said he had been in poor health for several years.

I don't really remember talking about him very much growing up. Maybe we did and I just don't remember it. I was afraid if I asked to many questions it would make people sad.

He was a dairy farmer and owned a trucking business.

He was born, lived and died in New York.

He was a justice of the peace. This I learn from his obituary.

I often wonder how much this first memory has impacted my life.

It feels as if my entire life has been so full of death.

What is your very first memory?

10 comments:

Meeshie said...

That felt...remarkably depressing before my morning coffee.

My first memory is checkers. Learning to play with my great grandfather. It's my only memory of him and it's only a snippet... maybe 10 seconds worth. I must have been maybe 3? He died when I was 4.

story girl said...

This is so beautiful. Brutiful as Glennon would say. I can't even tell you what my first memory is. Just a jumble of things really, nothing this defining.

Stacie said...

I don't think I have memories from quite that young. Sorry your life has been full of death :(

Robin said...

That is a very sad first memory.

My first memory was when I was about 18 months old. My mother was going somewhere in our big black car (my father would remember what kind). I was in the yard with my father, who was gardening. Before either one of my parents realized it, I ran to the car, so I could go with my mother. She didn't see me and closed the driver side door on my little hand. I think I remember it so well because it hurt so much! I do remember screaming.

Kathleen Michiganleft said...

It's wild to me that you can remember something from when you were that little. My first memories are of kindergarten. Is that weird?

TMW Hickman said...

My first memory is probably getting dropped down the laundry chute at my grandparent's house by one of my uncles. And people wonder why I'm tactile defensive!

Robbie K said...

For a long time I wasn't exactly sure if it was a memory or a dream. I knew I was young when Papa died but it's only recently I found out it was just before I turned two.

Shailaja V said...

Wow, can't believe you remember that! Goes to show how powerful the mind can be. I will have to think about mine. Not too sure.

Rara Saur said...

Beautiful, but so sad. My first memory is a field full of lightning bugs. I remember thinking they appeared out of nowhere.

Robbie K said...

Lightning bugs--now that is cool!