Skip to main content

I (Don't) Remember Mama

One of the sad realities of life is that, while we may be, say, 40 years of age, we only retain firm memories of perhaps 33 to 35 years of those four decades. Of course, memories of being diapered, laying in one's own poo and unable to articulate thoughts aside from the occasional (frequent?) bawling or tantrum session may not be quite what we want to hold on to.

Of course, there are things I wish I remembered. Mama, for example. She was my maternal, Hungarian-born great-grandmother who emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. She and my mom were very close, and mom has made it clear how much mama (real name Marie) loved me. She'd come to visit us and thought the world of me. She died when I was a little over three years old, so there are no memories of her, just some pictures and what mom has told me.

There are snippets of memory. There's the brief remembrance of toddling across the ranch house my parents and I lived in during the '70s and '80s, from the living room, through the kitchen and on to the breezeway. Mama was in the breezeway, of that I am sure. The images are accompanied by the vivid notion that I was so excited to be on my way to see her. Unfortunately, that is where the impression ends. The actual moment of seeing mama is cut-off, who knows why? The brain does strange things.

Mom always said the first movie I saw theatrically was a reissue of The Jungle Book. I don't have any recollection of that, but take her word for it. The first film I remember seeing at the theater was Star Wars (as it was called then). Mom took me to see it at the Virgina, and we left early because I was bored. What started out with a great space battle and an imposing villain dressed in black, had devolved into two chatty droids walking around in the desert. No thanks. Not something little Matt wanted to sit through.

The snippets I remember of going to see mama, and of Star Wars and, of all things, seeing the movie Kramer v. Kramer (also at the Virginia), were all before 1980, yet I have no memory whatsoever of the presidential race from that year. Reagan vs.Carter. Nothing. Not long after that, however, is when events began solidifying themselves better in my mind. The one week hospital stay for pneumonia -- circa 1981 or 1982 -- is most certainly etched into my brain, as is the head-on automobile collision involving mom, dad and I, and a drunk driver, from around the same time period.

Going forward, the memories become much more frequent.

I don't really care much about not remembering The Jungle Book, or leaving Star Wars because I was bored (got to see both movies at an older age where they could be better appreciated), though I do wish there was something to latch on to involving my great-grandmother. There is, in truth, a slight pang of guilt at not remembering someone who apparently loved me so very much. I guess knowing about it is the next best thing.


Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.