You never know what moment in time is going to stay with someone. What instant will forever be emblazoned in their psyche as a permanent memory. What seemingly insignificant gesture or comment turns out to carry weight you could never foresee.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and wondering what memories will survive with MP long after I’m gone. I’m guessing it’s not so much the big things as the little that have staying power. Maybe she’ll remember a comment I made about a drawing, and how I loved her use of color. Or the time we ran around like lunatics with Pull-ups on our heads.
Or will it be that the bad memories surface more quickly than the good?
When I was 13 or 14, and my mother was moving out, her antique halltree was temporarily moved out of place, standing at the base of the stairs in the entryway. Being all legs and feet, I tripped over my size 9s, fell into the halltree, which in turn fell against the stair railing, breaking several 150 year old spindles.
I’ll never forget the way she screamed at me. And wouldn’t speak to me for a long time afterward. And how terribly hurt I felt. I remember it as though it were yesterday.
Why do I remember this before I remember all the times she didn’t scream? She was a good mom, after all.
I don’t want MP’s most buoyant memories to be of me losing my temper. Because I’m human, and of course it’s happened.
I need to remind myself that even the little things have consequences.