The first place I remember living was this apartment in Clackamas. My brother was just a baby. I remember going into his room one night while my mom was reading him a book in a rocking chair by his crib. The room was pretty empty except for the two pieces of furniture and a giant white teddy bear in the corner. The window looked black against the night and reflected the light attached to the ceiling. I remember entering the room and my mom’s smile as she noticed me.
My mom would have friends over after we were supposed to be in bed. Old friends she had when she was a street kid only a little bit prior to getting pregnant with me. I remember the faces, vaguely, but none of the names except those she had in the family photo albums with the names scribbled to the right of the photo. One of who was my mom’s best friend, Diane. Which happens to be my middle name.
I recently found after being added by the same Diane on a social networking site that they had made a pact. The daughter my mom would have would be named after her. Same goes for Diane. Diane had told me that she did not end up having children “or there would be a little Mary running around”. I got her name as my middle name because the first name picked out for me was that of an angle. My dad’s ploy to amuse my grandma, his mom.
My grandma was sort of religious back then. My dad would talk about his childhood very little, but one of the things I remember him saying is that his mom, at one point, made him answer the telephone when anyone called with a “Heaven-high!” instead of a “Hell-low”. Growing up, she had gotten less religious, still going to church though, and more laid back.
When my mom did have her friends around, it was mainly a small gathering of drinking. Nothing heavily and nothing scary. She was still young, completely understandable. She was still always mom first and very responsible. I do remember one of her friends. For some reason I can only remember his face looking like a Christian Slater. He sat me on his knee and bounced it up and down. I called it a “horsey ride” and it was then my favorite thing that aunts and uncles would do, me asking for it and at first my mom having to explain what I meant by it.
I remember when we left that apartment. My mom was finishing the cleaning up, and I was with her. My brother was with our dad. We painted our nails and dried them on the fan she had spinning on the living room floor. We finished sitting on the third floor balcony of our apartment, eating bean burritos and tacos from Taco Bell, dangling our feet off the edge of the railing and watching the sunset.
These little memories that I have, I cherish very much. It’s probably an enchancment to my wonderful memory. Forgetting is a simple fear of mine. Not remembering an incident is a scary thought. If I had gone and not remembered a memory, it would be just for the fact that I just not have thought about it in such a long time. If someone were to bring it up, I could remember the full details if someone has mentioned it. My mom has been showing signs of earlier Alzheimers within the last few years these days, not only is my fear of losing mine growing stronger, but also that my mom may lose hers.