My Early Lesson in Gratefulness: A Memory

This morning as I completed my daily tasks, my mind roamed sampling themes that I might weave into the Saturday Stream of Consciousness post. I believe most of you reading this do the same. I started on a lovely jaunt on the differences between Family Day Care as opposed to Center-based childcare. Oh, the wonderful poignant phrases were many and my fear that I’d lose that fluent story once I sat at the computer great! But, as my tasks went along, of course my mind kept churning landing on a memory that inspired this independent post.
I noted in my previous post that I’ve always been a ‘people watcher’. Having embraced this interest as a small child, I never was a ‘judger’ but rather a pure observer hoping to learn lessons that would serve me as either ‘good’ or ‘poor’ examples of how I might behave. It was for increasing my own knowledge alone. In my Kindergarten class, was a little girl who gave me my first lesson about being grateful. In the 1960s the predominant family structure was made of two parents and siblings. Much of this little girl’s situation was not known to me at my tender age but somehow, I was aware that she lived with parents that were not biological. This little girl was frail in stature, and I remember how her hands shook like an old woman’s. My heart had empathized with her before I even got a glimpse of her reality.
One day, our teacher called her from her desk to meet someone in the hallway. When the door opened there stood an adult woman holding out her arms which caused the girl to sob leaping into a smothering hug. At this point, both the woman and girl were shaking and sobbing as my teacher closed the door.
That raw emotion touched me so deeply that the scene has been one of my most frequently revisited school memories. I somehow knew that the woman was part of her real and known family and she had missed her terribly. Any other detail remains forever unknown to me. That was enough to make my 5-year-old self profoundly grateful from head to toe for having a safe, loving, home and family. It was such a mind-blowing revelation that I believe it has been the inspiration for all of my lifelong persistent gratefulness for all my large and small blessings.
If I could, I’d thank that girl today because being grateful is the most fundamental foundation for being happy and she gave that to me for a lifetime in kindergarten.
I just wanted to share a memory and my lesson with everyone. 😉
Thanks. ❤

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #251- See You on the Flipside

The word prompt for this week is

Jamais Vu

It is the opposite of Deja Vu.

Aqua: Beautiful hyperrealistic paintings of bathing women by Reisha Perlmutter


She’d nearly drowned, or so her mother had told her, and now she was parked outside of her “home”.
Cloris had no memory of the event that had hospitalized her for a month. She was assured that not remembering traumatic experiences was completely normal. It was the way the mind protects itself. This memory void would definitely take getting used to.
Mama led her through the front door, and she stumbled almost falling flat on her face.

“Oh! You forgot to step down. Are you okay dear?”

“Step down? Yeah, I’m okay.”

“Daddy thought he was being artful when he created that dropdown entryway last year. Now, I have to warn anyone who doesn’t expect it! There’ll come a time we’re sued, and then I’ll get a BIG ‘I told ya so!’ moment, for sure.”

A marmalade-colored cat suddenly rushed at Cloris weaving itself in and out of her legs purring loudly.

“Thomas missed you so much, Honey. See how much weight he’s lost?”

“Um… he looks okay to me.” Cloris always loved cats, but Thomas? She didn’t know any cat named Thomas. Now things were getting creepy! She decided not to let Mama know just yet and added, “He seems happy now. Poor baby. Mama, I’m tired. Think I’ll take a nap, Okay?”

“Sure sweetie. Go on up to your room and I’ll call when supper’s ready.”

Luckly the stairway stood out directly to her left, because Cloris’ instincts told her it was on the right. She rushed up them quickly finding her room also in a mirror image opposite place from where she had known it.
She quietly latched the door and leaned against it with her eyes closed. When she opened them again, she whispered ‘jamais vu’, this is jamais vu! I’ve read about it.

It was then that she pulled her science fiction books down from her bookshelf looking for the last book she’d read. Cloris was sure she’d learned the term there.

Her rummaging became frantic as she searched for a book still showing her handmade kitty design bookmark. This would be the last book she’d read and the one that would explain what’s going on!

“There! There it is!”

Cloris grabbed it and as she read the jacket, she fainted dead away crashing to the floor.
***


FLIPSIDE

Do alternate universes exist?
Goldie didn’t think so until she found herself struggling with ‘jamais vu’ and discovered she was WRONG!

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #242-All but Forgotten

Write whatever the image brings up in you.

There is no restriction on length or format of the piece. There is no last date either, unless you wish to be featured in the Weekly Wrap. 


Cee abruptly stopped in her tracks. The finely detailed map that she held did not depict the glassy pond which obviously lay directly to her right. The sky reflected on the pond’s surface was sharp, but the image was sepia-toned.
A gasp from directly behind her made her jump with fright. She spun around with fists at the ready nearly knocking the youngest survivor into the copper-colored water.

“Zee! You scared the salt out of me! I told you to stay at camp.”

“I got bored, Cee. You get all the fun these days.”

“These days? You call the end of human existence THESE DAYS!”

Cee instantly realized her fright had gotten the better of her. As third in command, she took her role of steady leadership seriously, so she just grabbed the younger woman and hugged her.

“Sorry Zee. I lost my cool for a moment.”

“No worries. What’s wrong with that water?”

“I don’t know. It’s not on the map. Probably minerals or something else in this environment.”

Cee stepped toward the pond and squatted placing her fingers on the still surface. Not one ripple spread from her touch. That odd experience caused her to retrieve her hand in a jolt as if it had been burned only to observe that her fingertips weren’t the slightest bit wet.

“This isn’t good, Zee. Not good at all. I don’t remember much but I know how water in my cup behaves and this is not water.”

Suddenly, two dark pointed shadows crossed the mirrored surface. Both females instantly looked up, but there was nothing between the sun and the reflection. Then their slightly startled eyes met, and the air filled with a deafening roar followed by ear-ringing waves of explosions all around them!
Instinctively they dropped face first to the ground.

As abruptly as it had erupted, the clangor ended.

When Cee and Zee lifted their heads, all was calm, and the sepia pond was gone!

Over the next few months, visits to that area were forbidden to all but Leader Ay, who returned every time pale and visibly rattled.

Forevermore it was hence declared a haunted area, to the 26-member troop, and given a wide berth.

Marked on the map with a bold red ring it was officially labeled The Memory Pond.



https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2022/08/04/reenas-xploration-challenge-242/

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #158- Living in Focus

from Josh Rose @ Unsplash.com

Spending time with her daughter was precious to Dana. Even when Jackie wasn’t nearby, Dana’s memories of “their moments” were vivid because she had been blessed with the ability to “see” memories by replaying them in her mind. Now that her eyesight was failing her, with a diagnosis that it would never improve, Dana valued her ‘memory catalog’ even more.
As Jackie sat across the table on their Mother/Daughter brunch date, Dana snapped a photo of her. This way she could see her daughter clearly once she could get home and enlarge it on her computer. It seemed an odd new ritual but her exceptional memory, after all, was triggered by visual clues and the real world was getting fuzzy.
When Dana got home, she delighted in staring at her lovely girl. As she drank in the joy of the day, Dana had a thought she’d never before had… “If all people took time to focus more clearly on moments, there would be far more joy experienced in this world.”



https://fivedotoh.com/2022/02/28/fandangos-flash-fiction-challenge-158/

Fandango’s Provocative Question: 4/7/21

“How do you know which of your memories are genuine and which have been altered over time or even made up?”

FPQ

Another superb question!
My opinion comes down to realizing that not all memories are created equally.
Every one of us could experience the exact same event and recall it differently.
I wrote a post recently showing that the human mind can only focus on one thing at a time with efficiency. What we focus on is entirely personal.
If something happened directly to you, I would think a person gathers more sensory information but that may hold an exception. When we are in a heightened emotional state, such as pain, a human being would likely focus on the pain at the exclusion of collecting information. That’s why a witness to a mugging, IMO, would have more information to share than the person who was mugged. But, eyewitnesses are terribly unreliable too. That ‘one thing at a time’ aspect means excluding many peripheral details is any person’s limitation. So, many witnesses are preferable at a crime scene, and just like doing research, the intersecting and repeated reports are likely more reliable. BUT, if emotions are running extremely high, all bets are off because a whole mob can become convinced that they saw something like the “Hands up, don’t shoot.” narrative at the Michael Brown shooting.
Personal memories are a little different. I think we all aggrandize those. Our feelings are applied to them and we prioritize their importance ‘letting go’ of those not as emotionally friendly to us.
Then we ask, are some people’s memories a little more reliable than others?
I’d say yes.
There’s eidetic memory. It’s what we call ‘photographic memory’.
Even in that category, some are better than others.
I’ve heard that some people can recall almost every day in great detail! That’s incredible!
For me, I do have a collection of detailed pictures that I can call on. (And until recently, I believed everyone ‘sees’ pictures.) They’re like photos (sometimes short videos) taken in moments that made an impression on me. Having those, makes me a guarded more reliable source if you pick a topic that I chose to memorialize. And, what a person chooses to remember has limitations according to the person’s preferences so do research yourself on topics of importance because no one is a single reliable source!
The only reason it can be more reliable to have a visual memory is that a mental ‘picture’ offers extra clues like those multiple witnesses did to a crime. If I ‘see’ my brother riding his bike in a memory, for example, I know where he was and what the bike looked like. Those are great clues if I wanted to know how old he was in the memory. I can investigate when he had that particular bike, and when he was at that location. Also, the picture probably gives away the time of year and possibly the make of a car in the background or family pet. and those would also narrow down the year.
Memories are delightful companions. Human beings ‘dress them up’ a bit for extra fun and because we all wish for positive experiences the ones we choose are usually beautiful. They’re probably our best defense against horrible incidences which seem to tattoo themselves in our psyche liking to show off at 2:00 am. 😉
Fandango’s Provocative Question #17 Revisited – This, That, and The Other (fivedotoh.com)

My Earliest Memory

As I assume it was….

fetus

Well, I was just hanging out when I realized, I couldn’t stretch my legs. As I pushed, I would roll. Odd but fun.

My first science experiment had proven that ,” Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” Brilliant!

Sight was not possible and I remained unaware of it until a moment came, when I was so very crowded, I could not stand it! Call me claustrophobic but I am NOT happy.

Waves of energy pushed on me until…WOW! “Let there be light!”

Ouch…too bright.

Oh my! Approximately 14 pounds per square inch. Gravity…you are not my brother and you are very heavy.

Gosh…my skin is crawling. I am freezing!

Forget handing me around, somebody better cover me up.

Ugh…don’t these morons know that washing me adds to the cold!

A piercing sound…did that come from me? Cool…this is going to be handy when I need something. Look at those big people scramble.

Why is everyone smiling…this has been the worst day ever!

If this is an example of birthdays…I think I’ll pass on any more!

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