Posts Tagged ‘remember’

Rainy Day Memories

June 14, 2010

My memories are like the rain, sometimes they sneak up on me and when I least expect it, drench me with a downpour.

Other times they are a gentle sprinkle, light and refreshing.

Then comes a storm of memories moving in, rumbling and grumbling and striking with lightening, splitting the sky with a white dagger, thunderclaps overhead, the sky the black bowl of a big base drum, no tinkling triangle or clinking windchimes now.

Some days the memories rain down steady, dreary, constant, on and on, boring and oppressive and without any let up in sight.

Now and then there’s a refreshing rain of good times remembered, followed by sparkling pavement and a fresh scent of renewal.

Every summer there’s a long dry spell, a draught, the grass and leaves curling and turning brown, and people ask each other, “Think it will rain today?” “Not today. Maybe tomorrow.”

Then the skies darken and the clouds gather and the rain soaks the earth, like a sudden memory that will not go away.

And yet, somehow, even that storm passes, and you come in out of the rain, to where it is dry, and bright, and safe, and warm.

By Kerry Ellen © 2010

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Little Things

May 21, 2008

It’s those little things people remember about you, you know.

 

It’s not all the work you did, your big accomplishments, awards you achieved, contests or contracts you won.  It’s the little off-the-record comments that make people miss you.  After you’re gone, I mean.

 

One of my co-workers died a couple years ago.  A very nice guy named Denny.  He did good work, knew his IT, served his country, but I remember the little things.  I found some salt water taffy in the community candy dish…it reminded me that Denny used to bring the freshest, softest taffy back every time he returned from visiting his mother out East.  He also would bake bread a couple times a week and bring it in to the office to share…

 

It wasn’t just the food – it was Denny’s thoughtfulness.  He brought an ice scoop and a cup to rest it in so we didn’t have to use our hands to get ice…and a plastic pitcher with a line marked so we’d make never-fail coffee… he brought his spare drill into the office, just in case…it’s come in handy a number of times… 

 

Denny was genuinely cheerful – not in a fake perky sort of way – when he said, “Happy Tuesday!” – he meant it.  His joy de vivre was contagious – I felt better when he was around. 

 

So even though I didn’t know Denny well, I remember him, and I miss him.  For his practicality, his thoughtfulness, his smile, the way he always said, “Thank you, thank you!” – all the little things that made him Denny.

 

…Makes me wonder what people will remember about me…

 

© Kerry Vincent

i remember…

May 7, 2008

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      Only a name.  Only a name and a piece of cloth.  Only a name and a piece of cloth to remember someone who lived and loved, someone who died of HIV-AIDS.

            This is the second time I will view a Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt exhibit.  I take a deep breath and begin the slow walk around the huge gymnasium.  Bright panels of leather and lame’, denim and sequins, hand-blocked letters remind me that persons with AIDS are more than Center for Disease Control statistics:  each one has a name and a personality and someone who will miss them.

            I recognize Ryan White’s name, but the panel that strikes me most displays simple yellow letters on black felt.  It says, “My name is Duane.  I was born in 1964.  I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987.  By the time you read this, I will be dead.”

            A square of canvas and markers are provided so viewers can sign a quilt panel.  I see the name of someone I knew, Helena Henry Hatch, a fellow volunteer.  I went to her funeral.  Always dedicated to education and prevention, Helena requested that condoms be distributed for free after her funeral service. 

I write, “You teach me to honor the present.”

          Someone else has written, “Love is never wrong,” and “Love is not in vain.”

            My friend Jerry says hello and shows me the panel he sewed for his buddy Larry.  I give Jerry a hug and tell him I love him.  Jerry is caring, creative, talented, intelligent, he knew Janis Joplin during the original Summer of Love, and he is HIV +.  I don’t want to lose Jerry, too.  Ever the caregiver, he hands me a tissue.

            I tell Jerry, “You will always be more than just a number, just a name on a piece of cloth.”

            He kisses my forehead and thanks me for coming to honor his friends.

 

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AUTHOR’S NOTE:

I wrote this piece about 15 years ago.  Jerry died in 1999.  I made his panel for the Names memorial quilt.

Kerry