It was February of 1965. I was seven. My parents and I, and two of my sisters, had just piled into the station wagon that was parked in front of the church in Russellville, Kentucky, after my grandfather’s funeral.
I was climbing over the seat into the way back when it occurred to me. “Hey,” I said. “Pop never got to see Beth, did he?” My youngest sister had been born the previous September.
My mother turned around and raised her finger to her lips, saying, “Shhhhh,” just before the door opened and my grandmother got in the car.
Its often fascinated me the moments and glimpses of life children remember. I’ve asked my parents about memories like this one, and they often claim to have no recollection of it at all. And now, having parented for almost 20 years, I get it. It’s all such a blur.
Ben, this memory is crystal clear, but in all the times I’ve thought of it, I’ve always been stuck as the child. I’ve never been able to jump out of character to think about it from my parents’ perspective–an off-hand remark to protect my grandmother from more grief. I really appreciate your giving me a wider view.