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  • So many memories…

    Memories are both shared and very personal. Looking back over life is like looking back upon a dream. As we look back, we find our memories, like our dream-worlds, are really our very own. Sometimes, what I remember so well, some of my sisters will say never happened, or it happened in a quite different way. On other memories, a familiar chord will be struck and will resonate between us. Sometimes, someone will say “Ah Ha! So THAT is what happened!”

    Yes, memories are sometimes very personal, but sometimes delightfully shared. I’d like to share some of my memories for those who would care to read them.

    Before I start, let me give you a story typical of memories. Often over the years, I have found that the memory I held as very important in regard to some person, they remembered not at all. On the other hand, that same person may have a treasured memory of something I said or did, but I have no memory of it at all. In fact, I may deny it was even possible.

    When Anna Mary (McGrath) McLaughlin was breaking up her house, I was invited over to look at a washing machine I might want. I did. While I was there, she asked if I wished to have the Marie Gerard painting of a harbor scene, identical to the one that hung always in our living room. I hadn’t known it existed! It was painted for Aunt Jeannette (Hager) McGrath in 1898 (25 years after the first one) for a wedding present. I did. I took it. My son Peter now has it in one of his guest bedrooms, hanging on the wall above the bed that I was born in, in Vienna, Virginia!

    Also, she showed me a chair. It hadn’t been used for years, she said, but all it needed was to be glued together. She had not been able to part with it. It was so dear to her because my mother, Aunt Eulalie, had given it to her for her wedding. Perhaps I’d value it for that reason. I took it, cleaned it up and glued it together. When mother next visited, I asked her “How do you like my new chair?” She thought it was alright. “Don’t you recognize it?”, I asked. “No, why should I?” “You gave that to Aunt Mary for a wedding present.” “I did not!”

    So it goes with memories. I’m sure Aunt Mary kept the chair all those years based on an erroneous memory. Mom couldn’t have been wrong!
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