A strange thing is memory, and hope. One looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today , and the other of tomorrow. Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day. Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.
It can be of all type, bitter, sweet, funny and so on. Everybody has their own memory, but when I think back to the days when I was a child, I think about all of my wonderful childhood memories. Often I wish to go back, back to that point in life when everything seemed simpler. Sometimes I think about it too much, knowing I cannot return .Yet there is still one place I can count on to take me back to that state of mind, my grandparent’s house.
My grandfather, who is no more, was always the hopeful, jolly person that I turned to. My relationship with him was closer than with my parents. Even now, I remember so clearly the weekly outings with my grandparents, my older sister and I used to got to the park when I was about five. We played on the slides and swings while they looked on. Afterwards, we would go on the swan boats with a brown paper bag full of popcorn bought at the concession stand. I was so content to sit on the edge of my seat and feed the pigeons that flew onto the boat. My grandfather would warn me to sit down with a stern voice that I dared not disobey. As the boat went towards the gate, I would be saddened and plead to go once more. The answer was a promise to be back next Friday.
These routine visits to the park ended when I started my coaching classes. Soon my visits to my grandparents were voluntary. When I was old enough, I brought pastries to their house and passed the afternoon with them. They used to tell me old Bengali myths and legends which taught me about morals, religion and respect.
From my grandparents, I learned the essentials of survival in the outside world. They taught me to have patience and hope. With these, one could accomplish anything. It seemed evident that their theories worked, since my grandmother raised four children alone when my grandfather was handling his business all by himself.
I can relate my story with “Sixty-nine Cents” because just like Gary’s family, my family is also very strict with traditions and culture. As he mentioned, “ I considered the possibility of redeeming my own dignity, of leaving behind our beet-salad heritage.” Just the way he could not ignore the rules that he was brought up with, so could not I, and I am glad to have to such up-bringing. Well definitely, my family rules were way different from the authors’ but this is the quote that I could relate to.
I have learned to deal with the loss of a loved one with the support of friends and family. For some reason, I hesitate to become attached to anyone now, afraid that I will depend too greatly and collapse myself. It was hard for me to accept that he is gone at first. It just felt as if he was on vacation. However, when he never came back, reality struck me.
Most things are forgotten overtime. We are so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are too many things we have to learn. But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never rub away. The remain with us forever, like a touchstone.