What anyone wants to remember
“A childhood is what anyone wants to remember of it.” — Carol Shields
“A happy childhood can’t be cured. Mine’ll hang around my neck like a rainbow…”
— Hortense Calisher
I’ve written before about how it can be difficult being a child or young person, and that’s more true for some than for others. Most of us, I think, have a blend of good memories and bad ones, but even these are relative. Some of what we would describe as bad memories might sound fairly benign to anyone who has endured true abuse or trauma.
I think my own childhood was fortunate and blessed. The happy memories are far more lasting and influential today than the unhappy ones. Calisher’s quote charmed me because it seemed such an apt description. We carry the happy times of our youth with us, and I think others can see signs of it, even when we are unaware that it shows.
I feel the deepest gratitude to my parents for giving me such a foundation, and to my family and friends for decorating my early years with humor, adventure and joy. You are all part of the rainbow I wear, the one that gives me hope on my most difficult days. I hope all of you who read this can reach back into your own memories, and find colors that glow in the dark.
One year ago today:
And speaking of children, Grady wishes you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.
I love this! What a wonderful quote by Hortense Calisher. Rainbows around my neck!
Some blessings last forever.
Your dad looks a bit or a lot like Burt Reynolds in this pict. I am sure that he got that a lot.
Actually, I don’t remember anyone ever once saying that. He did get plenty of others in the “You look JUST like ______!” category, though. The most popular ones were Tennessee Ernie Ford, Howard Hughes (he had a fellow pilot who called him “Howard” until the day he died, and only half-jokingly insisted to everyone that Daddy was Mr. Hughes, incognito), Clark Gable (which my girlhood friends always said), Gomez Addams [as played on TV by John Astin] (also noticed mostly by kids), and probably many others. As for me, while I could see a bit of these likenesses, he most reminded me of Paladin (played on TV by Richard Boone).
Someone also said,” It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”
Hmmm….doesn’t that mean re-writing history? Or at least putting a different slant on it? Well, that’s become the M.O. for far more well-documented and momentous history other than one’s own childhood, so I suppose one could always try to recast the stark facts of one’s past. But I would think it is rather hard to say “well, my dad did die when I was a young child and my family was thrown into poverty, but I never liked him anyway and being poor was fun!” 😦 Which is to say, I’m not sure “someone” was right about that particular observation. It is, however, possible to look for some good in anything, without trying to make up an entirely different narrative.