I think I started writing this blog entry back in March.
It had a different angle then, but today is the day I need to finish it.
I need to finish it because it’s been sitting unfinished for too long, because I need something to do right now and because, in some ways, I’ve circled back around to this spot.
First, the blog as it began…
It happened very quickly and quite unexpectedly.
I was getting ready for an interview with an artist, just going over some very simple “ice-breaker” questions that could be used in a “speed round”. Sometimes when I’m writing the questions I’ll imagine the artist’s response or think about how I might answer that same question. Usually I’m just trying to see if the question works in the flow of a speed round or if it’s a question that lends itself to digging deeper and would be better suited in another part of the interview. This time I came upon the question, “What is your fondest childhood memory?” I thought for a second about how I might respond.
That’s when it happened.
Ambushed … by my own emotions.
I’m not a typically emotive person. It’s not that I’m cold or that I’m not in touch with my feelings. I’m just what some would call a “Steady Eddy”. I don’t usually swing from highs to lows, I’m just … steady. If I were a climate I’d best be described as “temperate”. Yet here I was flooded with long forgotten feelings and a profound sadness.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I burst into tears or found myself sobbing. In fact, I didn’t shed a tear. I was just sad.
So what was the source of the ambush? Where had these feelings been hiding, waiting for their chance to strike?
Oddly enough, they were lurking in my fondest childhood memories.
It started innocently enough. I was remembering Sunday dinners after church at my grandparents’ house. My paternal grandparents lived right across the street from us and my dad’s would all gather at their house on Sunday afternoon. My dad’s three brothers and his sister, all their spouses and children were there for a glorious feast. Every week it was the same. Roast beef, potato salad (with sweet pickles, not dill … and no onion), lima beans and snap beans fresh from my grandpa’s garden and homemade ice cream. My grandmother made the ice cream. She didn’t use an ice cream maker. She created a vanilla cream, some would say almost custard , and poured it into empty metal ice trays with the squares removed. Then she placed it in the freezer until it was ready.
That’s where the original blog entry stopped.
I’ve meant to get back to it several times, but the busyness of life has gotten in the way.
This is the problem with me and blogs. It’s why I have had this blog for a few years and have all of, what, two entries up to now? There just always seems to be something else to do.
Today I was ambushed again and all of the busyness came to a screeching halt.
This time the source of the ambush was two little words. Ten characters if you typed them on a page or used them as an update on your twitter site.
Nine letters and a space. Nothing really, when taken alone.
World altering when put together.
Those were the words of the second phone call from my mom this morning.
The first call had been to let me know he’d had a massive heart attack and was on a ventilator.
The doctors worked feverishly, but to no avail.
So now I sit here pondering many of those same childhood memories.
There’s plenty of stuff I could be doing. It all seemed pretty pressing and important a few hours ago.
Now, not so much.
We’re finishing a radio dramatization of A Christmas Carol. We’ve already aired 2 segments but there’s still a lot of work to do before the production is finished.
I’m supposed to be leaving with a group of 23 to star in a Christmas production in South East Asia three days from now. I don’t see that happening.
Right now the only thing keeping me from just sitting and staring is capturing these thoughts on my laptop.
The twitter messages, emails, texts and facebook posts are coming in pretty steadily. I appreciate all the prayers and well wishes, but responses will have to wait a while. I just can’t right now.
Someday I’ll sit and record a few more of the memories from childhood. I’ll pick up where I left off when I started this blog.
Today, though, I’ll just treasure the memories instead.
It was a great childhood.