Isn’t it funny the things we remember from our childhood and the things that our memory removes? I can remember taking a trip with my parents and my sister when I was 3 and she was 1, I remember bits and pieces of this trip, going to Ohio, where my dad was born. I remember meeting my Great-Grandfather Anthony Mantolete and my Great Uncle Daniel, I remember the huge plate of spaghetti and meatballs he gave me to eat. I remember my cousin who had down syndrome playing dolls with me and I remember the smell of fresh peach wine. But I dont remember my birthday except for pictures that I have seen.
The memory is a funny thing I guess retaining somethings and forgetting others. I have vivid memories of a woman I never actually knew standing next to my crib making baby sounds to me and patting my bottom when I was nothing more than an infant. Was it real? I believe it was even though it happened probably when I was way to young to know my Great-Grandmother Elora Mathews was the woman who stood by my crib she died three months after I was born. Yet I still have memory of her standing next to my crib patting my bottom her voice soft as she soothed me.
I guess I discuss memory because memory becomes an important part of what I am seeking to do with the telling of this journey. You see often what we remember and what we want to remember are two different things. Like I want to remember when my parents would laugh and act silly and loved each other, but I also remember the times when they did not. Anyways, as memory goes I have a lot of wonderful childhood memories, most of them with my family and extended family they always seemed to make my life so much richer and even though some of them are gone now I miss those times and wish my sons had gotten to experience the wonder of our family that I did when I was a child.
A few years ago I lost my beloved grandmother my dads mom, she was the last of my grandparents to pass and I still cry because as much as I loved them all seeing her go meant the end of so many memories that I wish I could hang on too, like riding on the back of my dads motorcycle to Superior to visit her and my Grandpa just for the day, telling her that I had laryngitis so I could have soup for lunch and my papa sitting me on his lap opening his desk draw and giving me candy he kept there. My grandparents on both sides were amazing people, vastly different in respect to life styles and personalities and yet they always made us feel so much love when we were with them. My sister and I were the only grand-kids on my dad’s side( again another story for another day) but this meant we were very spoiled by our grandma and grandpa Mantolete and our Aunt Bonnie.
On my mom’s side my grandparents were wonderful rough country cowboy folks who drank and cursed and rode horses and loved just as fiercely. My grandma Lillian and grandpa Dan were so much a part of my life during my younger years we spend more time at their house than we did at home. They were both loving and amazing grandparents, we shared them with our cousins which was at times difficult because some where always there and they did not always have time for us. But we loved them just as fiercely as they loved us and we did a lot with them things like branding cattle and making purses out of the ears of the calves ( gross I know) but it was fun and it was always an adventure.
So that was my beginning, its funny sometimes songs just remind me as I hear a song, some little thing that I may have forgotten or sweep me back to a wonderful place in my past. Anyways and so forward we go. With all the love of those who have gone before me and all those who are here to hold on to me. I just hope I can do it justice!