A few glimpses into my childhood and late teens....
My Earliest Memory
I'm not going to talk about my earliest memory, that's too personal to share with just anyone. HOWEVER, I am willing to share a couple of my happier memories from childhood.
This happened a LONG time ago, I can't remember how old I was. I know I was easily younger than 9, though. My family (Mom's side) were all still in California. My Mom and the old man and my brother were living in Rosamond, which at the time was such a little town, you'd block a sneeze and you'd miss it. It wasn't a town, more a mirage. My Grandparents (Mom's side) were living in Lancaster, which was about a 15 minute drive from where we were, and we'd go over and visit often. I've spent numerous weekends there with my Grandparents and my Mom's youngest sister, who was going to Nursing school at the time, so I learnt a lot about the human body before even my science teacher(s) got hold of me.
My Grandparents had this HUGE dog, she was a Great Dane, her name was Dana, and she was grey with black spots. Gorgeous dog, and incredibly sweet. My Grandpa used to take me to the Jane Reynolds Park around the corner from the house and let me run amok until I was too tired to see straight, and then he'd bring me back. One afternoon, we were coming back down the alley to go through the back yard to the house, and Dana saw us and went nuts. She was running up and down the fence, wagging her tail, barking happily, so excited that two of her favourite humans had returned. Grandpa says to me, “You want to ride her to the back porch?” Me, being unaware he was kidding, I said, “Can I? That would be so fun!” He goes to open the gate and he's pushing Dana back so she doesn't tackle me so we can get in the gate and not have her run off. He says, “No, I better not let you do that, your Grandma would be pretty mad at both of us and have both our hides!”
We went to the house (both of us on foot, I promise), and I was told NOT to tell Grandma what Grandpa and I had just discussed out in the yard about riding Dana. Of course, being a little kid with absolutely ZERO filter, and too much honesty for my own good, I tell Grandma all about it. She glared at Grandpa and told him how not funny that was, and she better not ever catch him letting me do that, and to me, she said she better not ever catch me trying.
I promise you, I heeded that warning to the syllable. My Grandma didn't really have much of a temper, but when she was upset with you, she let you know.
Remember how I talked about my Aunt going to Nursing school when I was little? I wasn't kidding about being incredibly nosy about what she was studying. I would look at her medical text books with her and ask all sorts of questions. Some were legit, some were just me being goofy, but I really was curious about what she was reading. I'll never forget the time she let me look at her Grey's Anatomy book one evening when I was spending the night. WOW there was a lot of information in there! I'd flip to the glossy pages – you know the ones I'm talking about, right? The ones toward … If I remember right, they were about the middle of the book, there was a diagram of the body and the glossy pages, each one had a different diagram on it. One was the internal organs, one was muscle structure, one was skeletal, one was the nervous system and if memory serves, I think one was the circulatory system. I learned (and have long ago forgotten) the names of the different parts of muscle tissue, the areas of the heart….. All kinds of crazy information!
Now my Aunt's a nurse, has been since forever and a half, and she teaches Bachelors of Science Nursing students in Oklahoma. Whenever I have a medical question, I seek her advice first, THEN if it's not something simple, I make an appointment with my MD. 9X out of 10, though, it's minor things or asking for information on behalf of friends who are curious about situations, if they need immediate attention or if they can just get by with something over-the-counter.
Given everything SHE taught me when I was a kid, I was able to point out to a friend a serious matter that turned out I was absolutely right about, I'd confirmed it with my Aunt, who in turn agreed with my guess and urged my friend to get seen. Good thing she did, too, because the situation would've ended a lot less easily than it did if she hadn't! I'd briefly considered going to nursing school, myself, but I don't have the stomach for it. I don't like needles! If I had a patient, a child for example, come in and needed a shot or an IV, I'd be crying right along with the child about the needle having to be administered.
My Grandpa taught me a lot, too, growing up. We had lots of talks about things like philosophy, religion, the environment, politics, all kinds of stuff. It's just not far I only had 17 ½ years with him. Not fair at all. There's so many things I've faced over the course of my adult life I'd have loved to seek his advice on, and I know I could count on him to come through. Not long after he died, I had the weirdest dream about him. It was about a year after he'd passed away. I'd dreamt about him before, but he'd never spoken to me, he was always smiling at me, but never close enough for me to hug. One night, I had a dream that he'd come to the house where I was, and he said to me, “You need to get your life started, kid. There's nothing here for you! You know that! Go, take that step forward. Live. If you stumble and fall, that's okay, because you can learn from it. ALWAYS keep going, and NEVER stop learning!”
I intend to do just that: Continue to gain as much knowledge as I can. After all, that's one of the reasons we're here, right?