Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

A Date to Remember

Posted on: October 21, 2010

I have never been one to remember dates. Oh, I remember birthdays and anniversaries, but other dates–like the day I got my first car or the day I learned how to drive–I do not recall.  I can tell you the approximate age I was during these milestones, but the date itself has been lost to File 13.

I do remember my first boyfriend ‘Jimmy’, tall (this is important since I’ve always been the tallest girl in the county).  We lived in Madison, Virginia on a one hundred acre farm and I was around 12 years old.  Jimmy was too old for me, but I didn’t look like an adolescent, I looked like I was 16.  But, do I remember the date we broke up? No, but I remember the hurt and anger I felt, and I was only 13 at the time.  I could do the math and give you the year, but who really cares that Jimmy broke my heart way back in 1976?  I’m sure you don’t.

There weren’t any major news stories or traumatic events, that I was aware of, with which to mark the passing of age in my life, so, as with most of my memories, I have to gauge the year with how old I think I was at the time.

There are a few things in my life that I can recall the exact date they happened, but only because some kind of event or special day occurred to help cement that date in my mind, like when I quit smoking on June 17, 2007 at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Woo-hoo, smoke free! I had tried quitting so many times before–always promising, ‘When cigarettes get up to $3.00 a pack–believe it or not, I remember buying cigarettes when they cost $1.85–I’ll quit….when cigarettes get up to $3.50 a pack…$4.00…you get the idea.  My will power forgot to show up each time I tried to quit.

You should have seen me.  If I wanted a cigarette and couldn’t get one, I was a mess. My boys used to say I would chew their heads off. On one attempt to quit smoking I went about 3 days without a cigarette and chewed on anything and everyone in my path…at the end of the third day my mother bought a pack of cigarettes, slammed them down on the table and yelled, “NOW SMOKE!”  (I got the message and smoked).  I was a bear-cat to say the least, but one tiny hit of nicotine into my bloodstream and all was right with the world again.  I hate to admit that but it’s true, and you smokers know what I’m talking about. That, ‘ Want one, need one, gotta have one or I’m gona rip somebody’s head off” craving that stays with you all day long and even in your sleep!  But on that day, June 17, 2007 something different happened. I wasn’t even thinking about quitting. Actually, I was sitting in church on that Sunday morning listening to the Pastor speak on something completely not related to bad habits, but, during that altar call I just knew–that’s the only way to explain it, I had sudden knowledge–that my cigarettes were more important to me than my relationship with God…cigarettes had become an idol in my life; an idol God was asking me to lay down.  Father’s Day, 2007.

I also remember the day my marriage ended; October 17, 1989.  Now, you might think I’d remember that date because that was a traumatic event in my life.  Well, you could say that, but you’d be wrong.  While it was traumatic, the trauma of my divorce is not what has caused me to remember the day I left an abusive marriage.

In my minds eye I can see myself in the car, looking at my soon to be ex-husband, standing tall against a clear blue, cloudless sky telling me if I changed my mind I could always come back. I pulled out of Alameda California driving a loaded down station wagon, pulling a loaded down U-Haul trailer…because of the load on that little V-6 engine, the Mountains of California made it difficult for me to travel any faster than 45-mph, so it took an excruciating 8-Hours just to make it to So. Cal where I was going to pick up the southern route across the states!  By the time I pulled into a hotel, got my room and unloaded my 1 year old son and the cat–which I snuck into the room–(Oh, and I was also 5 months pregnant with our third son; son #1 was with grandparents while I made the move) I finally turn on the TV to find out how the World series between the San Fransisco Giants and the Oakland A’s was going only to find out that a massive earthquake had struck in the Oakland/SF area!

Those two events, the unusual World Series and the Earthquake have definitely embedded that date into my mind. What helps me always remember, if I do happen to forget, is the availability of information on the internet.  One click and I am back on memory lane.

Long story short–I remember faces more than I remember names, and events more than dates…but then, I’ve been told I’m weird too.


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