10/03/2008

October 3

Last night, watching the debates for about three seconds, I remembered the Bush/Kerry debates four years ago. Andrew stopped by our house on his way home from a Bible study, all fired up to see the spectacle. I was surprised by this informed, political Andrew who shouted out once or twice at the TV and kept up a steady commentary throughout. I offered to make some popcorn and he sat, ranting at the media and eating out of the pot.

I wasn't much of a housekeeper that summer and fall so I guess it's no surprise that three days later when he died, the dirty pot sat, still untouched on the back of my stove. When I finally confronted my kitchen clean-up, I became paralyzed by the sight of it, popcorn kernels congealed on the bottom. A pot with sudden value.

Yesterday I was painting a second coat on a bedroom wall which gave me some time to think. I was thinking how glad I am that we have two dates to remember Andrew every year. His birth and death dates. Because, to be truthful, you start to forget someone who hasn't been around for four years. It's good to remember and it doesn't have to be sad which is what I tell the little voice in my head that whispers, "That's enough now. No one wants to hear this stuff again."

As I painted I remembered. I did cry a little but I also laughed right out loud. When Andrew stopped by we often went out and rented a movie and his regular request was 'something funny'. I remembered a time we were watching a Mystery Science Theater movie and at one particularly pathetic scene, his laugh, as sudden as a violent sneeze, propelled him off the couch, where he rolled around on the floor clutching his stomach.

I remembered a time after a family gathering at our house when we stood at the front window and waved to my parents who were getting ready to leave. Andrew began to formulate aloud a dialogue between my mother and father. It involved my mother forgetting something and needing to come back inside, a fairly typical scenario. Sure enough, a minute or two later, my mother stepped out of the car and came inside with some request or a reminder. I'm sure she wasn't surprised to see us all laughing.

I know it's not helpful or healthy or even possible to think about Andrew every minute or even every day. Even so, I'm more and more aware of my own faulty memory and am glad for a chance to remember when I can.

7 comments:

kw said...

WOw...this is stunning...you said it all.

KJ said...

It's good to remember and enjoy the memories, and I look forward to making more some day :)

flowergirl267 said...

Your remembrances are very touching. I lost my grandmother four years ago and some unexpected things bring her to my memory. Paper bags for one, because she never traveled with anything else. Even when her children bought her a set of matching luggage.(: A certain shade of blue makes me remember a long blue coat she would wear on her "prayer walks." Funny what triggers our minds.

melbrown said...

Thank you for bringing back the sudden, violent laugh. My favorite.

Stoneslinger said...

thank you.

gretchen said...

Thanks for writing this--I was glad to read it, and glad you shared it. You're right not to listen to that whisper of doubt : )

Claire said...

I liked reading this. Like I said on Lisa's blog, and should have also said on Mary's, whenever I hear stories and memories of Andrew, it's like hearing news of him...even when they are stories that I have already heard. But the popcorn one, I don't think I heard. I like details like that. Anyone that knew Andrew will want to hear news of him. So let's keep remembering.