Thursday, May 28, 2009

Remembering is bittersweet

I can't deny that certain songs, no matter how much I hate them, are linked to memories. Unsually specific but fragmented, these are sometimes my clearest recollections.

For example, both "My Name Is" and "Slim Shady" make me think of a week at my grandparents house.

It was Spring Break. I didn't have much to do, and being a 14 or 15 year old I had not yet learned how to entertain myself, so I watched a lot of tv. At home we had a more basic cable package, but my grandparents had what seemed like endless options. That week I was introduced to, and became hooked on, MTV. There still showed music videos then, and I watched Eminem over, and over, and over. . . I'm not sure if I even liked the song, but I was so enthralled with music videos that I never changed the channel.

The important things are sketchy. . . It was either the spring break of ninth or tenth grade. I want to say I was with my mom only, but that doesn't make sense. I can't remember anything else about that trip.

Except that, I think, my grandmother was dying.

Her cancer had come back and was destroying her quickly. I remember, later, standing by her bed, barely recognizing her. It was, of course, not her real bed, but a hospital bed they had moved into the bedroom. I remember sitting beside my grandpa when the coroners came to get her body. . . watching them push a covered stretcher through the living room. I remember walking beside him at the funeral, past the casket, for one last goodbye.

I wish I could remember more. More from the happy times, from the remission, when I usually forgot about the cancer. Most of my memories are short and vague, supplemented and sustained by stories and photos.

grapefruit juice.
the horse across the fence (he was allergic to carrots).
orange and grape soda in the garage refridgerator.
over-sensitive smoke detector.
old man pjs.
wheel of fortune.
cushioned toilet seat.
boston terriers down the street.
westark (pre-uafs).
dr. floyd
front porch glider, green.
the crown vic.
long necklaces.
white teddy bears.
touch lamps.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. I think sound comes after smell in the list of senses that are strongest for triggering memories. I'm sorry that you had to experience that with your grandmother.