Archive for the ‘Memories’ Tag

JUST IN TIME TO SAY GOODBYE   23 comments

I’m still working on the story of my accident and its aftermath, but before its ready to post here, I want to stay connected. So I’m posting today the short,short story I’m including in a local anthology. It’s based on an event of some 15 years ago, though it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long.

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I made it in time, half way across the country.

“Mom’s waiting for you.” Eddie gestured toward my lifelong friend, seemingly comatose on the Hospice bed. I held her hand. I think she squeezed mine a little.

“She had some prune juice for breakfast this morning,” he said. “And she asked when you would be coming.”

My last chance to talk with the person who held so much of my life in her hands, from the time we were in our carriages, I think. Certainly from tricycle days.

“Remember riding down our hill tilting your tricycle to make it a two-wheeler? With me following cautiously behind on three wheels?” I asked. Her eyes fluttered slightly open, then closed. Hallie was always good at eye-fluttering.

I think a little smile played on her lips as I went on. “Playing marbles for keepsies? The only game I was good at. You even picked more violets for Mother’s Day. Boyfriends at BayView beach? Spotting for enemy planes during the war? I couldn’t tell a plane from a mosquito. Giggling at your wedding; crying at my college graduation? Oh, and always protecting me from the scary neighborhood dogs?”

Hallie laughed, full-bellied as she used to, and drifted away to the end of her journey.

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Posted January 28, 2016 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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Memories   6 comments

Dear Sheila sent a lovely comment in response to my blog yesterday. She kindly suggested supplying me with questions. I especially need those that will direct people to read and discuss “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses.” So I’d like to apply her question to Dara (Mrs. Job), the heroin of “Figs … “

“Who or what are we without our memories?” she asks. Of course Sheila knows she’s asking a very powerful question. The simple answer to it is, “We are nothing without our memories.” But what about Job’s wife? How did her memories sustain her through the terrible trials and the establishment of a new family after the appearance of the voice in the whirlwind. I’d love to hear how others would answer it after reading the book, but I can’t, of course, avoid making some of my own comments about memories.

First of all, memories are not file folders that store simple data. Every memory is, instead, it’s own creation, based on things that were perceived creatively in the first place. Not only is it a creation, it will be edited anew each time we look back on it. So, “Who are we without our memories?” People incapable of taking our experiences and molding them to fit our view of who we are in the moment.

So what would Dara have called on from the happy, the good, the confusing, the hurtful, the painful experiences she had developed in her life up to the point of the trials? How would she have constructed them to see her through that terrible time?

How would she, in the second phase of her life, have fashioned her memories to make her the person she needed to be to live happily, productively, and lovingly in the years of her second family? How would she have used her memories to honor and love the memory of the lost children of her first family? How would she have used her memories to reconcile with Job’s “friends” who caused him such anguish? How would she have used her memories to reconcile with her God? How would she have constructed them to live with whatever guilt she may have had for her doubt and anger?

Or might she have done with her memories what we all are capable of doing, especially when we have suffered extreme pain, or experiences that make no sense. Would she have simply pushed them back into the non-conscious recesses of her mind? That’s something we all do in large or small part to stay above the pain they cost. It’s a way of sparing us to get on with our lives rather than yielding to immobility.

I’ll try next time to write and share a review of “Atonement“, by Ian McEwen,” the story of the terrible results of an adolescent girl’s false accusations and her subsequent efforts to rid herself of the pain of guilt – quite real by all standards, yet also understandable/explainable.

Thank you dear Sheila for inspiring this answer.

TIME OUT TO ENJOY IRISH MEMORIES   9 comments

I promised some photos of the Ireland trip. Just please be mindful that I’m an amateur with a shoot and click camera. I do have more, but I need to finish up now because my cable connection is being installed. Hurray!

Posted September 18, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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