Describe your first childhood memory.
This is an interesting topic for me, and it comes at an interesting time. My first memory is of the day my father died. I was about 3 and a half, and at the time we lived in Atlanta, Georgia. I remember I had a little set of watercolours, and they had dried out, so I though they weren’t good anymore and I was trying to get the little hard cakes of colour out of the container (no, I really don’t know why this made sense to me at the time). My stubby little fingers couldn’t do it, and my safety scissors weren’t helping, so I walked to the kitchen through the black tiled courtyard. I don’t remember seeing my father lying there on the floor, slumped under the table, but that is what I must have seen. I thought he was sleeping. The next thing I remember is my mother on the phone next to me, listening to a message Papa’s doctor had left on our machine. I remember the white plastic blinds on the windows, the white table and it’s bench, the white counter, and firemen coming in the side door. The next thing I remember is being sent to stay with friends of the family while my mother went with the firemen and Papa.
The timing is strange for me now, because my grandfather died only a few days ago- and my first memory of him was only a little while after my very first memory. I had forgotten about it until now, but after Papa’s funeral, Grandpa stayed with us for a while. The incident I remember is me shoveling shortbread cookies into my mouth, my mother scolding me for it, and Grandpa telling her to let me have them. By then I felt guilty and didn’t want them anymore, but kept eating, because I was afraid I wouldn’t get another chance. This is perhaps the nicest memory I have of Grandpa, with the exception of once he took me to a club he frequented (I was no older than 8, I think). He asked if I wanted a diet Pepsi, and I had never had pop before, so I said I’d try it. For a long long time I only ever drank diet Pepsi when I had the opportunity to have pop. It is interesting the things that have strong lasting impacts on us, and how strange how easy it is not to think about them.