Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
1.) The first one that comes to mind is the last time I saw my Grammy alive…summer of 1997. I was freshly 9 and just the weirdest, most sensitive little thing you’ve ever seen. We were sitting in her darkened bedroom, a room so cozy and familiar to me I can still remember how it smelled. She had a small shoebox full of little trinkets and knick-knacks and mementos that she wanted me to take home, to remember her. I don’t remember all that was said, but I do know she told me to not be afraid because she was going to a better place where she wasn’t sick anymore. Even though she was sad and knew I was too, I didn’t really have to be sad because she would never leave me. She told me every time I felt a gentle breeze brushing my cheek, that was her saying hello. I still believe it, and I still feel her presence. Even on her deathbed, my saintly grandma made a big, scary concept like death seem not so scary and more manageable. What courage and foresight that must have taken her. And she pulled every one in my family into her room one-by-one. She must have been exhausted by the end of the day.
2.) September 11, 2001. I was 13, standing outside staring up at the sky. I had just been picked up from school early, to sit huddled around the TV with my brother, mom, and best friend Bekah. We had no idea where my dad was, or when he was coming home. Both the WTC towers had collapsed at this point. All air traffic was grounded. I stepped outside to catch my breath, and realized how eerily silent it was outside. The normally busy skies above us where silent….no commercial flights from the Colorado Springs airport, no training drills from the Air Force Academy, Peterson AFB or Ft. Carson. Nothing. Suddenly a fighter jet tore across the sky, startling me. My common sense kicked in before panic could, and I realized it was probably just patrolling NORAD which was literally in our back yard. Finally the magnitude of what was happening in my world hit me. We would most certainly be in a war. My father was active duty Special Forces. He would most certainly be apart of that war. My happy little life that I knew up until now would be drastically changed. And boy was I right.
3.) Not all of my childhood memories are heavy and morbid. But even as a young child, I felt things more deeply than most kids my age
did. I was very intuitive, perceptive, and emotional. I caught on to things that weren’t even in my brother’s realm at the time. But I do remember happy times too. I remember being wild little woodland creatures, just running barefoot through our woods, lost in our own games, just….free. Children. Sometimes my brother and I played harmoniously together. More often than not though, we played separately, though close by to each other. Sometimes we had friends over who were equally as weird and wild, and we spent hours screaming, running, and laughing until we (okay, just me) peed our pants. We had schoolwork and chores and familial responsibilities but my parents were fantastic about letting us be children. As odd, and nonsensical, and wild as we wanted to be.