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Memories, Lost and Kept



Memories are pictures that store in your mind, pictures that you are supposed to hold close to you for the rest of your life, reflecting back on your past. Memories are the senses that you felt, the smell of the gym bag, the touch of a firm hand against your cheek when tears were spilling over the rims of your eyes, the sound of the horse-like laugh, the taste of warm peach cobbler sinking into your belly and the sight of a grin smiling down at you from a cherubic face. That’s all I can remember, and it drives me crazy that I can’t pull back more of those times where I felt that I was complete. People are supposed to have built themselves up through life to be able to handle such traumatic experiences, but some others are shown how unjust life is, when they have barely begun to live. These people are changed forever, these experiences manipulate a person’s mind a soul, and it stays with them the rest of their lifetime.


Halloween is supposed to be a time of friends and candy, a time where you feel high of sugar as it courses through your blood. You stay up all night hyper beyond belief and will suddenly crash when the sugar has run its course. For me Halloween is always a day of sadness as well. I’m six years old, sitting at the kitchen table with my pumpkin purse full of my favorite candies: Twix, Milky Way, Smarties, and anything else chocolate. My stomach starts to feel queasy as I near the bottom of my bag. Thud, thud, something has fallen down the stairs. I run to the hallway thinking that mom might have dropped something down the stairs again, instead I see Daddy, eyes closed, blood seeping from his head into the green carpet below. It’s too much. I don’t understand what has happened and run into the kitchen. Has Daddy died? Will he wake up? My young mind can’t handle the nerves that have begun to stir up through my body. I puke all over the floor trying to find a way out of this nightmare. Tears begin to spew from behind my closed lids as I run to my Mormor trying to find answers to my Daddy’s limp body crumpled in the foyer. The wailing of sirens nears my house and fills my head with even more fear. They are taking my Daddy away from me. I shiver and convulse as I see him placed on a stretcher, pushed out to the back of an ambulance. Will I ever see him again?


I did see my Daddy one last time. I remember my last time pretty clearly. To me it seemed that the doctors had done their job, and Daddy would be coming home to us, and the holidays would be so merry with him cooking his apple turnovers over the stove, and me dangling from his pant-legs memorizing the way he flipped is succulent pastries. I was standing in the hospital room with my mom, the sterile smell forcing itself through my nostrils. Daddy was sitting up with his genuine smile raining down on me. In his lap was a tray of hospital food: green beans with pork, beef, from a bowl mashed potatoes, and a stale yeast roll, to me it seemed only to be indigestible mush. He could barely speak over a whisper, but when he laughed it rang loud and clear. I think I hugged him before I left and told him that I loved him but I just can’t grasp the ending of that memory. A few days later I returned home from school seeing my mom crying. Daddy had come home but passed away on our couch watching the television when mom had gone to the market, his heart giving up and taking him away from me. I don’t think anyone has been able to shed as many tears as I did that day. I sat in my mom’s arms sobbing holding on to the memories of my lost father.


These days I only remember a few things from when my Daddy was alive. I wish I remembered more and sometimes I get very upset that I can’t picture all the fun times we had with him but then I think of my brother who was still in the womb when our Daddy passed on. He will ask questions concerning our father and I try as best I can to tell him how great Daddy was, but bringing back those few memories that I carry with me makes my heart break ever so slightly. I have become a very worried person, on the brink of paranoia. I’m scared of most things, one of the top being heart disease. It’s hereditary in my family, having taken my uncle Scott and living within my grandma. I’m so afraid that it could pass on to my little brother, who is burly for his age but so innocent and full of joy. There are days where I get so disturbed by something that has happened that I just start to cry since it is related to death and inside myself I can’t handle the thought of never being able to see my father again.


When I’m around my friends and their families I really wish I had a father. To see their loving relationships with their fathers, I feel and know that I will never experience that. The worst part is the fights that sometimes arise when I feel really upset, since I get really irritated. My mom has said that she can never bring him back and that sent me over the edge. It’s a childish dream to think that one day he will walk through the kitchen door with his warm smile, but I still hold on to it like a security blanket.


Having lost my father, it has made me into a somewhat tougher person. I seem to be able to handle some situations better, but then there are those days where something just breaks me down and I open the flood-gate. I still try to handle things better than others my age since I have experienced the dark taste of life, but the loss that has sunk into my past can also keep me from showing emotions knowing that I may become over sensitive and take it to personal. Now I see that life is not a fair place, and I know we have all been told that a million times, but only a few of us have experienced it this strongly firsthand. Life is like being punched in the stomach, it hits you hard and fast.




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This article has 7 comments. Post your own!

Wilms said...
Sept. 30, 2008 at 5:26 am:
This story took so much courage to write and relive for your readers to feel and smell and touch your memories. You are a most amazing young woman and I know that your Daddy and Uncle Scott are with you every moment of everyday.
 
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Mel said...
Sept. 28, 2008 at 9:31 pm:
How extrodinarily courageous to share with the reader such a very personal, and painful experience. I can see more than one subject that can be further explored in future writings.
 
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Kash said...
Sept. 27, 2008 at 2:36 pm:
A wonderful and extremely touching article that expresses the love of two beautiful souls (father and daughter).
 
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Kash said...
Sept. 26, 2008 at 2:28 pm:
Your ability to write about the harsh side of life at such a young age is incredible. Even though you cannot pull back as many memories as you would like, please know your Dad's love for you will always be with you.
 
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Far Far said...
Sept. 25, 2008 at 3:10 pm:
life has given you lemons but you have taken the sour fruit and made lemonaid. that is one of lifes most improtant lessons. keep your chin up. reach for the stars for they ARE within your grasp.
 
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Linda said...
Sept. 25, 2008 at 3:04 pm:
What a lot to bare for one as young as you. I hope the memories you may get from the rest of your family will help fill in the gaps. The story is beautifully written and the reader can easily feel the emotion it took for you to write it.
 
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Kashy said...
Sept. 25, 2008 at 1:49 am:
This is such a wonderful tribute to your dad. It's not easy to open your heart for all the world to read. I know in my heart he loves you so much and is so proud of his beautiful little girl.
 
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