Memories and roles

I’ve been imagining my life laid out on a timeline, where each role I play or have played is blocked out over its span. I could compare them, look at the overlaps, do some serious study that might reveal amazing things about myself. The idea of it has popped into my front-head wanderings and into my dreams more than once over the past few days. I have even found myself going over towards where we store office supplies with the thought of grabbing the graph paper and crayons (yes, crayons, don’t judge) so I could get this out of my head and just move on, already.

But then, then. I find myself asking some questions that cannot be answered and that my mind would need answered in order to complete this project. For instance: If I outlive all of my siblings, would I still have the role of “sister”? My mind tells me no, I can only be a sister if I have siblings. I am okay with that answer, but it leads to the idea that I am no longer anyone’s granddaughter. The last of my grandparents passed away years ago. The idea that my Mommom’s lack of life would erase her existence, at least as far as I am concerned, is one that does not sit well with me. Every time I knit or crochet, things I do daily, she is there because she taught these things to me. Every time I write, I hear her voice when I was seven or eight telling me that I have words in me and I really need to be a writer. I will always be her granddaughter.

And so. With questions that cannot be answered, this timeline of my life’s roles will just continue to live in my head and provide me amusement when needed, like during meetings or when I am counting reps at physical therapy. I will think about how interesting it is that there was a period when I was mother, sailor, technician, estranged wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister, granddaughter all at once. It’s the technician and the sailor in the middle that makes that one interesting to me, because it defines the short period after active duty when I was in the Naval reserve. And I find the defining of these periods act like opening doors to memories.

And now you get one of my favorite memories from then. Brian, a man I worked with and dated, sort of (long story short – he had too much going on in his life and I was a hot mess so it didn’t work), did this amazing thing for me. I was a newly single mom, living a lifetime away from my family, struggling to make it on my own with two very young children. In the middle of a life that was often scary and seldom easy, Brian showed up on Mother’s day with a gift. He had found a cabinet at a yard sale, then he had taken my kids and helped them paint it. It was pink, yellow, red, green, blue. It was messy and sloppy and drippy and gorgeous. He brought that thing over to our apartment and placed it in the living room, then put a television on it and gave us a ta-da. What a thoughtful and beautiful gift, and what a wonderful memory.

Do you see how this will amuse me until something else comes along to take its place? And how much better is it if I don’t create this timeline physically? In my mind, right now, I see it laid out. I see the time when we lived in Tampa, and the memory of Brian and his gift is up above it in a little window, bright and shining and beautiful. I lack the talent when it comes to creating things on paper to create anything even close to what lives in my head. I’m sure you noticed the word “crayons” above, and that should give you a really good idea of the tools I have available to me when it comes to paper. Graph paper exists to map out filet crochet or simple cross stitch patterns and crayons are for coloring in my Hello Kitty coloring books. Don’t judge. It’s quite calming.

Last week I:

  • Finished Baby Emily’s blanket
  • Ate amazing seafood in Cambridge at Jimmie and Sook’s
  • Bought alpaca yarn
  • Discovered the glory that is Panera’s tomato basil bread
  • Met an amazing local cottage farmer and dreamed about being her friend
  • Discovered ESWA and re-kindled a dream
  • Started A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Added four library e-books to my Kindle
  • Got more shots in my shoulder that don’t seem to be working all that well
  • Worked at UMES graduation (it was wonderful)
  • Ate in the student cafeteria

This week, I hope to:

  • Write a chapter in the untitled book
  • Add the next ESWA event to my calendar
  • Figure out what to make with that alpaca
  • Work on Multnomah
  • Get the DR server live and off my to-do list
  • Eat a little bit better, or at least eat fewer calories
  • Ride the newly discovered seven mile ride again

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