November 7, 2011

5 minutes on remembering

Linking up with the Gypsy Mama this morning, a few days late, to keep the writing part of my brain from getting rusty.  Every week she cues us with a subject, to write unedited for five minutes flat, to "just write" without worrying about whether or not it's "just right."

(If you're thinking about sharpening your skills again, join us some Friday ... or any day ... )

This week's cueword:  remembering ...


I'm remembering, alright, but I'm remembering anew.

When I was 18 months old (my mother told me later, dating it by how pregnant she remembers being with my brother), I was dropped off in a basement childcare arrangement while my mother worshipped with some neighbors up above.  There were toys and kind ladies, I remember.  But what haunted me for decades was the stairs.

I remember climbing those stairs, crying (loudly, my mother said) in the dark, hearing my mother's voice soaring with the others, unreachable.

The stairs went on and on; I never reached the top.  I suppose one of the kind ladies took me in hand.  All I remember is the climbing and the crying.  For years, all I knew was that I wanted Mommy and she wouldn't come.

Rejection.  Abandonment.

I wrote about it in college for an "earliest memory" assignment.  I got an A.

Later, much later, I asked my mom about it.  I could have saved myself so much hurt by asking sooner.  She'd heard me and ached with me.  She'd tried, sometimes, to have me with her, but I was wiggly and restless.

Her love for me spoke volumes.  I heard it in her eyes, her voice.  The hurts were healed.

So now, when I remember, I see more than just the stairs.  I see my mother hearing me, distracted from the singing, wondering what to do with that beloved child, what's best ....


p.s.  Mom, I love you.  And now that I've got "one of those" I understand, better.  Thanks for being patient with me while you waited.  You're still doing a great job.


  1. Wow.... so glad that you were able to heal.
    Great post and thanks for sharing!

  2. How poignant... I wonder how many other people have hurtful memories they can't explain, and if they were brave enough to find someone to talk about it with, maybe they would be able to move on as well. I know I have. Great post.


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