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a passionate repentance



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may God stand
My father in law, whom I very rarely see, was a pilot during the second world war. During D-Day, he piloted a glider, bringing over equipment and troops into France. He remembers that with perfect clarity though he cannot sometimes remember where he puts things or whether or not he has taken his medicine.

My mother lived in Orlando in the fifties, before Orlando was anything near as developed as it is now. She remembers working in a drugstore at night to supplement their income as bookkeepers at Ivy's drug store on the corner of Orange and Gore streets. She remembers delivering perscriptions for the well to do, and serving people at the lunch counter. That the owner was a 'fanny patter'. That really there wasn't anything one could do about such things, back then, but keep a counter between you and the perpetrator. All the way home from lunch at her house, she talked about the things the drugstore sold, bath powders and perfumes, gloves, handkerchieves, medicines, and boxes of candy, even imitation pearls. She remembered certain patrons who would ask for their medicines, and have to sign 'the poison book' but there was never a command not to let them have what they were searching for.

I remember being stuck in traffic, an incredible flux of human beings staring, and standing, and I caught glimpses of them as I sat on the floor of the van, and then we were through the crowd, and I could see why they were staring. There was a man, dressed in loose, comfortable clothing, running, down the center of the street, carrying a lit torch. The Olympic torch was going through Orlando.

I remember sitting in my father's car and watching from a hillside, through my father's cheap old telescope as the nuclear submarine surfaced at Jetty Park that would later pick up President Carter.

The same park, not the same day, some morning, with the sky bled nearly white by the sun and the sea looking like a sheet of hammered silver. Over it, like a drawing, or a secret, passing between two friends, was a tall ship, a clipper ship. I stared and stared, but I knew that I had to be seeing someone's fancy toy, the sails were not white but lime green. I watched for hours until it was out of sight. And I whispered to myself over and over. "I will remember this. I will remember this."

I remember seeing the fragile S-curve shape of a dead snake's spine on the road and thinking "Oh, inside they are just like jewelry. Or clocks or watches. All fine wires and delicate strings.

I remember meeting Sammy Davis Junior, and all I could see was a darkened shape inside a window with tinted glass, and a kind voice and two of the thinnest, smallest, *coldest* hands I'd ever felt.

I remember crushing lavender between my hands at Gamblingay College. And laughing so hard I cried. I think I'd never laughed so hard in all my life. Anne, if you're out there, somewhere, I remember you, I haven't forgotten. Aloha my friend.

I don't want to forget anything. I don't want to forget anyone. And yet, when I think about all the memories that are sliding into the dark, right now, I feel so sad. How many stories are never going to get told?
  • Isn't a horrible thing...to lose all the bits that have made you the person you are? To have all the scents, tastes, sights and feelings that built you slip away like grains of sand when the tide comes in? It's about the worst thing I can think of really. Death by inches, and you aren't even aware of what you are losing. Maybe at least the death of President Reagan may help in research. My husband is working in a lab working on Alzheimer's, but it's not been a "glamerous" enough disease to get the kind of funding it needs!? *sigh*
  • I have often thought...

    That one of the saddest things in the world was the fact that I'd never be able to share--really share--all the beautiful worlds and stories I have in my head because I'm not sure if I could translate them into language sufficiently to convey what was so special and important about those worlds and stories.

    Nikki, you ought to write a book. Seriously. Honestly. Read Alice Hoffman; your entries make me think of her writing. She's one of my favourite authors.

    *hugs* You are such a wonderful soul, and a beautiful mind.
  • She is right, you really do have a way with words.
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