my father’s memory

Dad Navy

you were with me, but somewhere else

you listened intently but soon forgot

you told me your story

it helped you remember who you were

talk of the Navy brought up young adult angst

this memory embedded needed release

opportunities given saved your life, in turn it brought forth mine

you smiled and the hard times faded

your eyes twinkled, you gave me a wink

you are still you

memory stone

My dad died a few months ago.

I miss the strength and wisdom he gave our family.

Here’s to remembering.

In Memoriam.

Memories are complicated

 

I started blogging to find normalcy amid painful transitions. I had turned fifty, finished menopause, was unhappy at work, and had angry and anxious teenagers turning into young adults.

Three years later, life has shifted again. My son is taking a job in another country, my daughter is beginning her last year of college, I’m three years older, and work is showing improved vital signs.

The anger and anxiety from my children is still there, just not experienced on a daily basis. Now it comes in spurts. Our son still carries sibling-rivalry resentment toward his sister. He is nice to her for one day then cocky and insulting to her at a family gathering. She burst out crying at his insensitivity.

I returned from visiting my elderly parents, ages 86 yrs. and 90 yrs. It has been another rough year for my mother. She has extreme anxiety and expresses her displeasure with her physical changes with a lot of crying and anger. Her coping skills have taken a toll on me and caused distress in my relationship with my father and siblings.

And then, Neil Armstrong died on Saturday. I had a flashback to my living room in the summer of 1969.  My oldest brother, who is still fascinated with space, closed all the curtains of our living room to take pictures of the moon landing from the television set. Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, what a good memory.

Then I remembered that in 1989, our son was a week shy of his first birthday, getting his first haircut. I was videotaping the event and on the TV in the background was a broadcast of the 20th anniversary of the moon landing.

I was cleaning out the shed yesterday, compiling things for my son to sort through before he leaves at the end of the week and I found this. I couldn’t believe it.

Man landing on the moon

I looked at the date: 9-7-1999. My son said he was in 5th grade when he did this project. He remarked that his good friends from grade school, have the actual newspaper headline, depicted above, framed in their home. It was a touching moment between my son and I, sharing a good memory. It lasted about one minute, before he got angry about something he thought I lost of his.

Thanks Neil Armstrong for your contribution to science, space and mankind. And thank you for bringing back fond memories, albeit brief, amid another one of life’s transitions.

 

Remembering Titanic and Molly Brown

April 15, 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. My partners in adventures, Joy and Char, accompanied me to the the tour of the Molly Brown House Museum to commemorate this historical day. There is more to the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown than her passage on the ill-fated voyage. This landmark celebrates history of Colorado, Denver and life at the turn of the 20th century.

When we picked up our tickets for the tour, we also received boarding passes as a passenger on the Titanic. On the flip side of the ticket was the biography of a passenger and the class of ticket. Our excellent tour guide, Betsy, provided us with the history of The Brown family and the house furnishings. We also had a perspective as a crew member, 1st class, 2nd class and 3rd class passengers and their accommodations on the Titanic.

Molly Brown died in 1932 and the house was sold at public auction. It was a rooming house for many years and was about to be demolished when in 1970 the Historic Denver group purchased and preserved the house. To read more about the Molly Brown House and Museum check out the hyperlink. Film photography was not allowed inside the home.

At the end of our tour was a mini museum about the Titanic. We also discovered if the passenger’s ticket we held survived the voyage. My passenger survived; 706 survived, 1517 perished. Our tour guide, Betsy remarked how Margaret “Molly” Brown, spent her remaining years advocating to get laws changed on educating travelers on safety and emergency preparedness. So thank Molly Brown the next time you board an airplane or a cruise ship and the attendants are informing you about the safety procedures for travel.

I love history. You remember the past and appreciate the present.