My Favorite Memory

I have no idea what my favorite memory is. I have many that I draw on when I need a pick me up. Like my trip to Belize in 06, graduating from college in 08, random moments in my life where I had a good time with friends, memories of pushing myself beyond what I thought I could do, etc...

To have to pick just one memory as my absolute favorite isn't fair. I don't know that I can do it. What I can do is pick a favorite memory, though.

My mother loves her mother. I think in order, my mom loves God, her mother and then me. That doesn't bother me, I think it's a fair lineup. My grandmother had 14 kids, dealt with an abusive husband, worked a farm, raised her kids... she was fly. I didn't get a chance to know my grandmother like some of my older cousins did. Some of my oldest cousins were raised by my grandparents, alongside my mom. Others of them spent summers with my grandparents or were raised nearby. They all have many specific memories. However, my grandmother died when I was 4, so my memories of her are fewer.

As I began writing about this, I was inclined to share a story from during the time my grandmother lived with me and my mom. I realized that in some respects, there are aspects of my memory that are enhanced by pictures I have of me with her. One memory that I know isn't tainted by pictures is of the time I slammed my thumb in the car door.

My mom owned a black, 2-door 1986 GMC Jimmy when I was born. On a trip down to visit my grandparents, I got out of the backseat on my own and shut the door myself. My mom was distracted by a relative and so she didn't realize I'd gotten out of the car. I accidentally shut my thumb in the door.

I didn't break it, but obviously it hurt very much. I began screaming and my mother ran over and freed my thumb. She checked it out and saw it wasn't broken and told me, "Ashley, I'm sorry it hurts, but if it's not broken, there's nothing I can do about it." Of course at this point, I'm bawling as little kids are apt to do when in pain and it surely didn't help to hear my mom say there wasn't anything she could do. Your mother is supposed to make every pain go away, right?

My grandmother rushed to my aid once my screams were within earshot. My memory is of her setting me in her lap, wetting a paper towel with hydrogen peroxide and wrapping my thumb up in it. We all know that peroxide didn't do anything for the pain, but in my memory, the pain instantly went away. Just the fact that my grandmother tried was all I needed. I think that's what grandmothers are for -- to do the magical things mothers can't.

This is definitely a favorite memory.

On a slightly different note, I like responding to prompts like these. I'm a fan of random pieces of information about people because I feel like they're always a good window into that person's world. Often when I give people opportunities to ask me anything their heart desires, they ask personal and intimate questions. That's fine, I'll answer those, too -- I understand that we're often seeking the hidden parts of people -- but questions about my favorite memory, or what I wanted to be when I was younger or what my dreams and goals are will tell you more about me than anything about my personal self. When you know what a person values, you know everything you need to.

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