Posted by: Deanna | June 27, 2008

Gentle Reflections

I woke this morning with thoughts of my parents running through my mind. Today isn’t a special day, just another Friday, but for some reason they were both there, nudging memories to the surface.

I don’t have a lot of really good memories of my parents. Most are clouded with a troublesome childhood, the death of my mom very early and the confusion and questions I carry around with me still. I’ve never gotten any answers for all the questions I have, but have rather pieced together part of the puzzle of their lives from my own life experience, dealing with the issues we all have to go through as adults.

I do my best, now, to try and summon the good memories to my mind.

Having dinner out on the back patio in the summer time with the television sitting outside, the cord strung through my bedroom window. Playing out in the dark in our back yard, chasing the dogs, or running and hiding from my brothers.

Family vacations to Big Bear at Grandpa’s cabin. No phones. No bathroom, just the outhouse. No electricity, but kerosene lamps, the smell of it burning, the flicker of the light on the walls. Walking down town to spend the few dollars we were given at the arcade.

Going to work with my dad. He serviced x-ray machines in hospitals and doctors offices. His white van smelled of chemicals; fixer and developer. It was filled with parts to make repairs. The main office in Los Angeles was an amazing place. In my adult eye and can see the pandemonium of it, but my child’s eye remembers the fascinating jungle that it was.

Going to my grandparent’s house in Baldwin Park. Dad’s parents. There was always the cookie jar and the pretzel can there in the kitchen. Looking through the old pictures with Grandma, trying to catch a glimpse of my father’s youth. They never watched television except for the evening news and midget wrestling. (It’s true!) Grandma would give us each a quarter and we would go to the corner store and buy balsa wood gliders and spend the afternoon flying them in the back yard.

The bad memories seem to be fading, even though they are there still in moments of self-doubt. When I wonder if what I am doing now will one day be memories my children will want to fade and forget. If we learn by example, I didn’t have many good ones. I learned later, on my own, by watching others and guessing what I thought the right road should be.

If I’d had stellar examples my life would have been different, I’m sure, but then, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have the husband I have been blessed with for 20 years now and I wouldn’t have my two lovely daughters that mean the world to me.

So, I keep bekoning the sweet memories to return to me, think lovingly about the parents that suffered so much in their lifetime and hope they know that I love them still.

I love this picture of dad! I don’t have any memories of him with dark hair. For as long as I can remember it was grey. He almost always had a beard, too.

A young and smiling mom, before marriage and children.

I don’t have any pictures of them together in later years. Dad was always behind the camera if a picture was being taken. I tend to take after him that way, but I get in the picture when I can!



  1. Deanna, this is a lovely post.

    It’s amazing how we remember some things vividly, down to the smell and color. But I do forget a lot of things, I wonder if the brain has selected memories decided to only store the pleasant ones than the bad – in my case anyway 🙂

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