Monday, May 08, 2006

My Earliest Memories

I've seen pictures and movies all my life, so sometimes it's difficult for me to differentiate what are truly memories and what are triggers from looking at photos.

I remember going to my great-grandmother's funeral. I thought I was really, really little at the time, but since she died in 1965, I was almost 7 at the time. This was the first funeral I went to and I remember the smell of carnations vividly. In fact, to this day I tend to associate the smell of carnations - not the flower themselves, just the smell - with death and funerals.

I had a lot of kidney and bladder problems when I was little. I remember having my bladder surgery. My aunt and her friend came to see me in the hospital. Her friend played the Wicked Witch on one of the local morning kiddie shows and I remember getting an autographed picture of Cadet Don. As part of the recovery from the surgery, I had to have a superpubic catheter for several weeks. I wore the bag strapped to my leg and my mom had to empty it for me several times a day. I also had to take oral antibiotics that seemed really huge. The pills were a kind of maroon color and my grandfather called them my "kidney beans."

I remember breaking my collarbone. I don't remember actually breaking it, I just remember waking up in my bed crying because it hurt - my parents think I may have fallen off my trike). I had a big huge cast that was a body cast and kept the upper part of my right arm immobile. I was just learning to write - I think I may have been in Kindergarten and tried writing with my left hand, but that didn't work too well.

I remember chicken pox. Kathy and I both had it and it was at Eastertime so we had our Easter egg hunt in the house.

I remember red dresses that Kathy and I had just alike. They had white lace that ran down the front of the bodice and had a gathered skirt. I think they were short-sleeved.

I remember starting Kindergarten in Beaumont because Daddy was working on a project there. I remember going to a fire station and then we came back to class and drew fire trucks and I colored mine purple because it was my favorite color at the time.

We came home from Beaumont every weekend and the trip seemed to go forever. Mom would make me count to try to pass the time. And when we passed Jacinto City, I knew we were getting close. The only way I could say Jacinto City properly was to silently say San before the Jacinto. I knew about the San Jacinto Monument and to say Jacinto without the San was almost impossible for me.

I remember the neighbor boy in Beaumont (we lived in an apartment there) teaching me "52 Card Pickup." I think he also taught me how to play "Battle." I remember having to still take a nap because Kathy wouldn't go to bed unless I did, too.

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