Four years

Sep. 24th, 2012 11:50 pm
morsla: (Default)
...and I'm still finding memories hiding in random places.

We can see part of the Showgrounds from our house: just the tops of the rides, and a few bright lights each September. Tonight I watched the fireworks out my window, and remembered the first time I saw and heard a firework show.

It must have been years ago - before the Quayside centre was built in Frankston, back when the current shopping sprawl was just a carpark. Standing in the dark, part of a crowd that had gathered to see the fireworks that night. Bethany was very little, riding on Dad's shoulders. I can't have been much bigger, but I remember standing there fascinated by the colours and patterns each firework made. Mum stood on the other side of me, probably making sure I didn't wander off, or walk into something while I stared at the sky. It's a nice memory to fix in my mind: all together in one place, attention fixed on one thing.

The colours of those fireworks stuck with me for years. Even back then, I wanted to know how everything worked, and some of my first non-dinosaur books were about chemistry. Not long after that, Dad started bringing home bags of aluminium cans from the restaurant, so that we could crush them down and take them to sell back to the recycling centre. We saved the coins in an old money box on the bookshelf, planning to buy a chemistry set with it. Time passed, catalogues of new distractions came and went, and the money was spent on other things - but the spark remained. Then years of uni and work ground it out of me, until I remembered about it tonight.

I don't need to rush out and find myself a chemistry set any more. Years of lab work have let me play with just about everything that you can burn, boil or separate, and I think I left the research science path a long time ago. I'll keep those memories though. Family, wonder and curiosity are all important things to hold onto, in whatever way you can.
morsla: (lookin)
Today marks three years since Dad passed away. I've been thinking about him a lot, lately - wondering what he'd be up to now, if he were still around.

Memories hide in the little things. [livejournal.com profile] aeliel and I went out for Yum Cha today, as a pre-birthday celebration for her 31st. The food always brings memories flooding back, along with the little rituals. When Mary-Anne poured some tea, I tapped two fingers on the table in thanks - remembering the story that accomanies that little bow, of an emperor walking among the people in disguise, pouring tea for his servants, and the terrified servants using it as a means to preserve the disguise without the dishonor of failing to bow in his presence. Dad told the story at Yum Cha years ago, and I remember it each time we go back.

There are some audio tapes sitting in a box in Somerville. I think some are marked 'family history', while another has my name on it. Dad recorded them in the weeks before he died - he spent quite a bit of time alone, putting things in order, knowing that he wouldn't have time to do or say everything that he wanted to. I still haven't listened to mine, but I think it's now time that I did. Three years ago, I wasn't ready to listen to them yet - but I've thought about them often during the past few months.

A lot has changed in the last three years. I got married, moved house, bought a house and went back to Uni. It's strange to think that so many of the major events that dominate my life in the present have appeared so recently. I hope that I never forget how I got here, or how much of my life was shaped by the years that I had with Dad. One day, I may have kids of my own, and I hope that I will remember enough to let them know who their grandfather was, and what he was like. The trick with memory is association - letting the mind connect thoughts to several reference points. My family memories are embedded in so many parts of my life that I hope they will stay with me in all the years to come.

September 2014

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