One thing this project is doing is reinforcing the relentless nature of time. I can barely catch my breath. Each day, another year gone.
1989: I’m pregnant again. On Valentine’s Day, after a belated 8th birthday/skating party for Kathleen, I’m standing in the den. One minute, I’m fine; the next, not. I have the flu. I can only take Tylenol, not even extra strength. After a week, I go back to work. The next thing I know, I have fever again–a sinus infection. Every day for another week, Cal comes home at four when the housekeeper has to leave. As I lie in bed, I can see the files and articles piling up at the office. Kathleen and Bobby need new shoes, spring clothes. I can’t do it all. I stop work at the end of May. Jack is born September 22nd, three days after Bobby’s 2nd birthday. For the first time, they give me oxygen, and while Cal puts on scrubs, my doctor stands beside me watching the heart rate monitor. Then he kicks the brake on the bed and wheels me into the delivery room himself, Cal behind him. Jack is delivered in seconds–the cord was wrapped around his neck. But all is well. A month later, as I’m sitting on the sofa nursing Jack with the World Series about to start, Cal arrives home and rushes through the den to change clothes. Before he can get back, an earthquake rocks San Francisco. A few weeks later, the Berlin Wall comes tumbling down.
So many things falling….
I’m amazed at the things you remember. I was in college by this time, in a bubble I guess, and have almost no memory of that earthquake that I’m always hearing people reference. I do very clearly remember the Berlin wall coming down, though. As it happens and for no reason I can fathom, I link it to a play I had to translate into French (what??) for a school project. A group of us put on a sequel to Waiting for Godot for our class, using the play a grad student (who happened to be taking the class as a lark) had written in English (hence my translation job). It perplexed everyone who saw it (score!) and earned us an A. I remember telling myself to pay attention to this Berlin Wall thing, it was Big, it would Mean Something, I must Remember. But that’s pretty much it, the sum of the memory. Godot never made it, even with a sequel.
Those awful shoulder pads still hanging on….
This whole memory thing is fascinating–I’ll have certain memories that cannot have happened when I think they did, and it makes me feel as if the ground has tilted. I would think the memory would give way easily to fact, but it does not.