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The Task of Time Warps

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

World Trade Center memorial

(I post this on the anniversary of a terrible day in US history. September 11th is a painful, tragic, excruciating anniversary of horrible deeds that murdered many. Let us hold in our hearts all of the complexity of that day for a quiet moment before I launch into my own very different musings on the time-warp-ed-ness of memories.)

 

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My oldest child turned 40 this year. What astounds me about this is that I can remember in exquisite detail her infant and toddler years and those of her younger brothers. It’s like my brain has become a … not sure what the current technology would be for it, but back in the day it was called a roll-a-dex. Pull out one random card, and I can remember vividly episodes from their childhoods … and my own. I keep accumulating years and memories which is, of course, so much better than the alternative! But what am I supposed to do with all of these seemingly random visits from times gone by?

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What to Say on Memorial Day

By Teresa Bruce

Memorial Day is not about taking advantage of retailers’ discount promotions or partying over the three-day weekend. Memorial Day means taking time to remember the departed who died while serving the United States of America.* The commemoration was first known as Decoration Day. Loved ones and townsfolk decorated fallen soldiers’ graves with flags or flowers …

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Natalie

By Lauren Elkins

“Natalie is quickly slipping away.” I read this text on my phone as I sat in the boardroom at work, conducting a meeting with a department supervisor and several leads. As I attempted to talk, to continue directing a political discussion, tears welled in my eyes and my voice wavered. The others around the table appeared tense from my unsolicited emotional response. I tried to explain why.

Stating it makes it real.

Natalie died from cancer two years ago.

It happened at the same time that my husband and I attempted to sell our condo. In spite of the non-existent financial recovery for our real estate purchase, I didn’t want to live in a home where I could tell you exactly where the upstairs neighbor was standing at any given moment and I could smell when the downstairs neighbor’s weed-smoking boyfriend returned home. This wasn’t where I wanted to raise my 9-month old son.

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A Punnet’s Worth (and Then Some)

By Kellie Purcill

Rasppp

After significant accounting, historical research, graveyard excavation and gnawing introspection, I have come to a decision that has shoved my world off its axis, and is still rattling my bones.

I am worth $6.99.

This discovery was prompted (in all its complicated monstrosity) by a punnet of raspberries. A “punnet” is the packaging size of fresh raspberries here in Australia – a fragile, tiny plastic clamshell to carry your hairy rubies home… if you pay about $6 for the ransom privilege.   The punnet weighs about 125 grams (a quarter pound), so it’s not a whole lot of bang for your bucks, so the cost:benefit ratio has always been hugely ridiculous… until a couple of weeks ago.

Previously, every time I saw them I’d stop, look at their plumpness, (stealthily suck in the scent of them) and – weighing up a running tally of and scrolling logarithm of if/then/else/and/therefore, continue past to more sensible fare.  But that particular week, raspberries were on special, and their siren call was spectacular.  So I bought a punnet, babied it through the cartons of milk and bags of potatoes required for the feeding of giants, into the car then ate every single one before I got home 10 minutes later.

Home, where I had raspberry breath and guilt thick around my shoulders. What on earth was going on?  History, that’s what.

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In Memoriam

By Rosalyn Eves

A few days ago, I stood with my mother and my children in a wind-swept cemetery near the point of the mountain between Utah Valley and the Great Salt Lake. My mother’s parents are buried in the Veteran’s cemetery there, courtesy of my grandfather’s service in the Marines during World War II. While we were …

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Lest We Forget

By Kellie Purcill

Australia and Turkey fell silent today. Half a world apart, people gathered before dawn in local parks, on beaches, at cliff tops and in nursing homes, then joined in remembering the fallen. Wherever Australian or New Zealand troops are stationed, they too stopped, stood and remembered. These words were read into the smudged dawning light:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.¹

Thousands murmured in reply “Lest we forget.”  A bugle sounded, repeating and echoing throughout the day around the earth, mixed in with sounds of waking kookaburras (where I was in Australia) and waves on the Gallipoli shore.

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Walking Barefoot at the Fourth Hole

By Melissa Young

This post (originally written two years ago) is the last in a series of posts about my grandparents. Thanks for sharing memories with me.

We’ve been coming here for four years now, so I guess you could call it a tradition. Each summer my parents, siblings, and their families gather for a three-day weekend at a hotel in the canyon. This place has layers of memories for me. We came here when I was a child, when my parents were young and my grandparents a youthful middle-age. I have echoes of memories, mental glimpses of relatives I no longer see. I remember running the halls with my cousins, and even my child-memory has retained with surprising accuracy the long, low-ceilinged hallways.

I think it was partly those memories that drew us here a generation later. Now I am a mother and my children run the halls with their cousins. The first year we came, Grandpa was still alive. He and Grandma had the largest room, the only one with a sofa and soaking tub. Swallows had built nests along the soffit outside their window—mud nests with wisps of grass, and the birds darted and flew between the trees and the building. Grandma and Grandpa spent hours watching them. Grandpa knew birds, spent years watching them, and could identify almost any kind that we would ever see. There was just a flicker of jealousy when we told him we had a family of small owls in our backyard that would come out at dusk, making sounds like monkeys. “Sure would like to see that,” he said.

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I Cry

MendyHunterMendy Hunter was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She is the fourth of eight children. Mendy left the lush, green hills of her home and headed west to BYU. After taking a scholastic break to complete a mission in Romania, she graduated with an English degree. Soon thereafter, she married, started a family and moved to Maryland, where she currently resides. Mendy now has four children and spends her days in the full-time occupation of motherhood. Interests in addition to her family include reading, quilting, hair-styling and blogging at Mother Is A Verb at www.mendyhunter.blogspot.com

I have seen death. I was touching my five-year-old brother when he took his last breath. “I love you, Brent. I love you,” I repeated as I stroked his arm. I wanted him to hear that, to know that, and to remember it when he slipped from this world to the next. His weary body had been fighting the leukemia for almost four years, but his death certificate blames pneumonia for his demise. (The slightest common cold quickly turns into pneumonia when your body doesn’t have the immune system to fight it.)

My father, older brother and I reclined on the bed around his failing body. “My right lung just collapsed,” he announced through ragged breaths. How did he even know what that felt like? I wondered. His breathing grew louder, more labored, if such a thing were possible. Then it was silent. Painfully, loudly silent; we did not speak to break the ugliness. There was nothing to say.

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