Thursday, May 16, 2013

L.I.T.E.R.A.L. #5: What's Your Summer Story?

Mommy and Me, 1976
The question from You’re asked to write a story based on the most exciting/happiest/worst summer of your life. What would it be about?

The answer: It would be the story that I haven't written about, the summer that my mother died.

I never really thought about writing a summer story. But now that I think about mother died in the summer. The skies must have been bright. It must have been really hot. It was in the middle of April, nine days after my baby sister was born. Her burial was in the afternoon. People wore shades. I never saw my Dad's eyes in the pictures. He had a good excuse to wear those shades.

It must have been the worst summer of my life but I hadn't realized it yet. I didn't know about death because I was only three years old. When I look at my daughter who's only two and six months...I realize how fancy free I must have been at the time of her death. I must have been worried about outfits and bathing suits and where to go in the afternoon. At the time, the days must have fused together and I had no inkling at all about yesterday or tomorrow. That's how my daughter is...everything is just one fantastic day full of smiles or tears or snacks or playtime.

Memory is such a tricky thing. It's especially tricky when you're three years old. There's not much there. So... what I want to do is to reconstruct that summer. The seventies fashion, the stories in the kitchen, the beach trips from the two years before and the surreal day that no one expected. Now that I'm a mom...I see that clueless little girl in an apple cut hairdo, wearing that white dress and my heart goes out to her. Come here, you. Let me hug you. You're going to be all right.

Well, thanks for asking, Now, I have some fantastic material brewing in my head.

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