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  • July 14th, 2009 | 4:28 PM
Tuesday Memory Challenge - Saying Goodbye

Hard to believe but it has been a year of doing Tuesday Memory challenges. This is the 52nd one I have posted. If you want to read other memory prompts and perhaps use them as prompts of your own, you can read them all here.

I think I have come to the end, not of mining my childhood memories but of promising myself I would post one each Tuesday. My blog/writer self is going through some changes and I want to unfetter myself in a few places in order to root more deeply in others. This blog isn't going away and I hope to be back to posting more regularly....I am just not going to promise to do memory challenges every Tuesday anymore. Wednesday will continue to be my day to post Of Dogs and Writing.

So today's memory challenge is for me to try and remember the times I had to say goodbye to something or someone from childhood. Of course the one that stands out most strongly in my mind is saying goodbye to my grandfather. He died when I was 10 and in some ways I feel like my childhood ended then. He was my bestest friend that I followed everywhere. I remember saying goodbye to my great-grandmother after that and not going to her funeral because I had not gone to my grandfather's funeral. For some reason it seemed disloyal to my grandfather, whom I loved and adored, if I went to great grandma's funeral (whom I just tolerated and who just tolerated me) and not his. I remember saying goodbye to my Uncle Fred, who was a fireman in Concord. We road in the hearse past the fire station and all the fireman came out to salute as he went by.

I remember not getting to say goodbye to my friend Teresa Randazzo who moved away in what felt like the middle of the night when her parents were divorced.

I remember saying goodbye to Sparky, my first horse, after we were hit by a car and he had an injury that would take him a long long time to recover from so we gave him to riding school near Davis so he could get the rest he needed.

It seems to me there should be more goodbyes from childhood but if so, they are buried too deeply for me to find them at the moment.

You turn, what goodbyes stand out from your childhood?

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 12 comments — Leave comment )
July 15th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
Not childhood but last August 26th.

Dad was in Cleveland University Hospital, after having fallen at home. I went into the ICU, held his hand -- he wasn't conscious -- and whispered into his ear that it was time to go. A few hours later, he was dead.
July 16th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
Ah Cat. **hug**
July 15th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Besides grandparents and pets, I remember when we moved and I said goodbye to the huge Victorian house I'd lived in for the first thirteen years of my life. At least that goodbye was bittersweet and exciting.

I enjoy your memory posts, but I'm glad you've giving yourself freedom to move on.
July 16th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)
Oh goodbye to a house. I think it would have broken my heart to have to say goodbye to my grandmother's house as a child. I'm glad it was still in the family until I was in my 20s.

Thanks for the kind words about my memory posts. They might come back in bits and pieces but I know that I need to let go of some things to make room for some others.
July 15th, 2009 04:26 am (UTC)
I have had to do lots of good-byes in adulthood, but I was blessed with not having too many good-byes as a child. I did have to say good-bye to 2 hamsters though. The first was Harvey (a girl hamster, but we thought she was a boy when I got her). My parents had a college friend over and he was teaching them to do swing dance downstairs while I bawled my eyes out. After said friend left, I yelled at my parents for being insensitive and dancing while I was so sad. The second was Mama, who died on the same day I was supposed to go to Great America with my friend. I was sure I couldn't really have fun while at the park, but somehow I did.

For both hamsters, they died in the palm of my hand, and that's what I remember most, feeling their breaths stop and noticing how quickly they went cold. *sniffle* RIP my little rodent buddies.
July 16th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)
Hamsters dying in the palm of your hand. What a memory!
July 15th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
Will miss your memories, but thanks for them!
July 16th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading along. I might bring some back over time. We'll see how things unfold in the future.
July 15th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
I was lucky when I was a child & didn't have to say good-bye to many humans. I do remember visiting my great-grandmother in the nursing home/wing of the hospital and giving her a kiss--very scary.

The biggest I remember is saying good-bye to our sheltie, when it was time to put her to sleep. I was 16, and I had seen other people make their pets hang on--in my opinion--too long, and I told my mother we weren't going to do that to her. She had a lot of strokes & just got worse. My parents were vets, and I went with my dad to put her to sleep, because I didn't want her to just go off and leave without me being there. It was hard, but felt very important to me to do. And thankfully my parents didn't try to talk me out of it.
July 16th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC)
Oh boy, saying goodbye to a pet as a teen would have wiped me out.
July 16th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
Luckily for me as a child I didn't have to say goodbye to anyone although my Grandfather passed away when I was 6. The first I knew about funerals was when I was in 6th class and they used to make us go to other peoples funerals. I always thought this was strange and was very scared of churches after that thinking they were such morbid places.
I have never really said goodbye to anyone never got the chance but always got feeling that I was never going to see that person again and sure enough that is what would happen. So I always hope that I never get these feelings. I remember being at work one day just before easter and being with a lady and had a really strange feeling. Sadly her their little boy passed away on easter sunday a few years ago at the age of 8. I could not attend the funeral even though nearly everyone else in the office did, I wish I knew why I got these feelings and if I did what could I have done. Makes you wonder.

- Anne McKenna
July 16th, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
I think it is really tough on kids who are made to go to things like funerals before they are ready. Ugh!

Hard to know waht to do with those sorts of feelings, Anne, except to write them down.
( 12 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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