Memoir Monday #19 (7/15-7/21) - What early memories do you have of your sibling(s)?

in #memoirmonday6 days ago (edited)


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Memoir

/ˈmemˌwär/ noun. a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation. Usually memoirs. an account of one's personal life and experiences; autobiography. the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization, as of a learned society.


Siblings, they’ve been with us since our earliest memories. These increasingly hazy memories, like lace, time transforms into a web riddled with empty spaces. Our siblings, either consciously or unconsciously, helped to shape who we are as adults. If we’re lucky our siblings were, and hopefully still are, our first best friend(s). Week 19’s Memoir Monday prompt is about the people who we didn’t get to choose but who the creator chose for us. I posted next week's prompt early to give you time to think. Next week I urge you to reminisce about those people you shared the earliest years of your life with. Dig deep, bloggers, and join me on this walk down memory lane.

Memoir Monday has grown so much that I won’t be able to comment on everyone’s posts anymore (and get my own work done) but I’ll still be supporting your posts with reblogs, votes, and shares on my other social media accounts (X, Facebook, etc.).

For all of those who’ve regularly participated in Memoir Monday - keep going, you’re making great progress in chronicling your very own life story for future generations to enjoy.

For those who missed the inaugural post explaining what the Memoir Monday initiative is all about you can find it here.


Now for next week’s Memoir Monday prompt:

What early memories do you have of your sibling(s)?


My answer:


Curt

It was October of 1974, I was a little over three years old when my brother Curt was born. I remember that day leading up to his birth in the most vivid detail. My dad drove my mom and I up to Doctor’s North Hospital (where I was also born) in their 1969 Dodge Charger and dropped my mom off.

My dad and I spent that night at home by ourselves for the first time. I remember how weird it felt without my mom there at home but despite that I remember having a lot of fun with my dad. I had a small toy saxophone and my father lifted me up on top of the refrigerator and I sat up there and played my saxophone while he was making dinner. There always seemed to be an element of danger and spontaneity when my dad and I spent time together. This never changed as long as he walked the Earth.

That night we ate dinner, watched a little television, and then went to bed early. I seem to remember my dad doing a lot of pacing. The next morning we got up and drove back up to Doctor’s North and, voila, I had a baby brother! I remember being happy but confused by this new family dynamic. Curt was a colicky baby for the first few weeks and cried off and on throughout the night. We shared a tiny bedroom so that meant I was up most of the night too. Since I couldn’t sleep I decided I’d be productive and sat up in the middle the bedroom floor, by the soft glow of our nightlight, built a huge tower using up all my Legos. After one particularly long and trying night I remember asking my Mom if we could please take him back. In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t.

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The colic eventually subsided and Curt and I grew to become good friends. I remember all of his firsts, including when he crawled and walked for the first time. As young children we spent all of our time together.

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I pulled him around in our wooden wagon. We used to play “smash up derby” in the hallway of the house with our Matchbox cars. We’d each be on opposite ends of the hall and fling the cars towards each other as hard as we could. We also threw ninja stars, made nunchucks, and shot BB guns, played with fireworks.

It’s a true miracle we still have sight in both our eyes and all of our digits. Curt and I did all kinds of stupid and dangerous things, as boys normally did in the 1970s. We jumped plywood ramps in the alley behind our house with our bikes and rode our Big Wheel down flights of stairs. We would go down to the school playground at the end of our street and swing as high as we possibly could on the swings then jump off, sailing high in the air. In the winter time we went snow sledding down impossibly steep hills and had so much fun we didn’t care that our hands and feet were numb from the cold.



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Curt always had a fascination with car keys and automobiles in general and that fascination has never changed.

I was always more of a bookish introvert who sometimes could shed my shell and be outgoing but Curt was naturally more of an extrovert. As we approached our teen years we started to hang out with our own groups of friends and didn’t spend as much time together. Between the raging hormones, dating, driving for the first time, discovering the pleasures and pitfalls of intoxicating substances, those teen years seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Through that entire tumultuous period of our lives we still managed to remain close.

No matter what I knew I could always count on Curt if I needed to and I hope he felt the same way about me. From his earliest days he was very humble and kind, he always had a soft spot for animals and still does to this day.

I’ll never forget the day I bought my first car from a dealership. I was eighteen years old and had just gotten my first real job at The Limited. My Mom drove us up to the Honda dealership off of Brice Road in Columbus and I picked out a white and gray, three year old 1986 Honda CRX HF. I thought I died and went to heaven because before this I was driving my parent’s 1978 Dodge Monaco, it was like an ocean liner and the tail lights would fill with water when it rained.

Now, I wasn’t much for pre-planning in those days and failed to think about the fact that the CRX had a manual transmission and I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.

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In this situation I did what our dad taught us to do when in doubt, I winged it (this particular lesson from my dad has served my brother and I very well throughout our lives). Curt risked his life and limb and rode shotgun with me in that car the entire twelve mile ride home. Thankfully, I didn’t kill us that day and by some stroke of luck only managed to stall the car a couple of times. I loved that little car and drove it for the next five years.

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I moved away from Columbus in 1995 then Curt moved to Florida in the early 2000’s then back to Ohio almost a decade later. We’ve spent the better part of the last three decades hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles apart but when we get together it’s like no time has passed. We're lucky that way.

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Against a lot of odds I’ve watched my brother raise three great children, get his education, rise to the top of two major companies, and become a grandfather multiple times.

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More importantly, my brother has remained a good, kind-hearted person throughout the ups and downs of his life’s journey. To say I’m a proud big brother would be an understatement. I hope we have many more years of adventures and visits together. When the good Lord was passing out brothers I got lucky, even though he kept me up all night for the first few weeks.


Rules of Engagement

  1. Please reblog this first post and share on other social platforms so we cast the widest net possible for this initiative;
  2. Pictures paint a thousand words. Include pictures in your posts if you have them;
  3. Answer each Memoir Monday prompt question in your own post. If possible, the prompt question will be published in the week prior so you'll have the entire week to answer and publish your own post;
  4. Have fun with it, don't worry about getting behind, or jumping into the project at any point after we've begun; and
  5. Lastly, be sure to include the tag #memoirmonday.

It's that simple.

At the end of the next twelve months we'll have created something immensely valuable together. It's so important to know our "whys" in life and there's no better way to do that than this.

Someday all that will be left of our existence are memories of us, our deeds, and words. It's up to you to leave as rich of a heritage as possible for future generations to learn from. So, go ahead, tell your stories. I can't wait to read them.

Be well and make the most of this day. I want to sincerely thank all of the participants thus far. I've really enjoyed reading your posts!

~Eric Vance Walton~

(All photos are original.)


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What a great collection of core memories and character building parts of your story! I definitely have many of the same and am blessed to be close friends with my brother now.

My issue with these awesome prompts is that they deal with stuff way in the past and I don’t have photos to show to support the content. I hate to post a paragraph without a picture to add that dimension.

Happy memoir Monday!

Thanks! I'm glad you've been able to stay close with your brother.

I don't have many photos of our childhood either. Photos of my teen years are almost non-existent. We were just way too busy having fun to think about bringing a camera along.

At least you experienced how he walked the Earth. Many kids were fooled by stork myth 😄

I guess I've been busy making real life memories - it's only in the last few weeks I've heard of this challenge!

I do envy your relationship with your bro. It does amaze that you both survived the 70s. What a great childhood you both had and it's awesome you are still so close now.

That's actually awesome!

Thanks, we're lucky. We've always been cordial but a trip to Montreal last year was the first time we'd hung out for four days together since we were children. This trip was reminded us how similar we were and how much we enjoy each other's company. We plan on doing a lot more trips together and might be going to Amsterdam or London for our next adventure.

I don't know why that last paragraph made me want to cry! Maybe because it's beautiful to find people who thank God for giving them the family they have.
These days I was reading about how before we are born, we choose our family. The family is the one that will allow us to achieve our mission in life. You chose your mom, your dad and I imagine your brother chose you.
Regarding what you say, I think it's great to have siblings of the same gender and without much age difference because they become our playmates and accomplices in our adventures, I say this from experience.
It will be nice to talk about my (4) siblings, because as you said, I wouldn't be the Nancy I am today if it wasn't for them.
Let me give you a hug here to thank you for your support. A big hug, Eric

I've heard people who've had near death experiences say the same thing about how we choose our family before birth in order to learn the exact lessons we're meant to learn in this incarnation. It's an interesting concept and would me a lot of things that happen to us more clear. I believe our world is like a schoolhouse and its sole purpose is for us to experience life, make decisions, and learn our lessons along the way.

Yes, I agree! I'm glad there were just over three years between us. We could relate to each other a lot more that way. I'm looking forward to reading about your siblings. Are you the youngest, oldest, in the middle?

I am the second, but many times I have had to play the role of the eldest. I like the concept of life as a school: we only move forward when we learn lessons. A nice Wednesday, my friend. Regards

The role of the eldest can sometimes be a difficult road. Yes, we get prompted when that light bulb goes on and we learn our lessons. Thank you Nancy. Just a few days left and another weekend will be upon us!

More importantly, my brother has remained a good, kind-hearted person throughout the ups and downs of his life’s journey. To say I’m a proud big brother would be an understatement.

This is so genuine and lovely <3I love how it acknowledges that, while we may love our family, we're not always guaranteed they'll be good people. Still, of course yours was. Must run in the family.
Beautiful trip down memory lane, Eric!

Thank you! We have a few relatives with questionable character but, thankfully they reside outside of our immediate family...and are kept outside of the "circle of trust". : )

Man, I feel that. I sometimes fall back on the "but they're family!" argument. Then I remember the thing about who you keep around you and protecting your energy and...nah.

Yes! Family is different. For the really toxic ones I stay congenial but keep a healthy distance and proper boundaries. It's so easy to fall back into the "this time will be different" or "maybe they've changed" mindset. Most people don't change, sadly, (unless they really have a strong desire to and are willing to do the work) it's like trying to override an operating system.

Most people don't change, sadly, (unless they really have a strong desire to and are willing to do the work) it's like trying to override an operating system.

I feel learning that has been hands down my favorite lesson of the past few years. It's very useful, even if it at first seems bitter/depressing.

You seem to have a beautiful connection with your kid brother, siblings are the best gift we could ask for, although we didn't choose them, the creator knew which one is best for us and he gave that to us, only our siblings can stick with us despite knowing our flaws and they will still love us unconditionally.

It's a great thing!

helped to shape who we are as adults. If we’re lucky our siblings were, and hopefully still are, our first best friend(s)

You are totally right, they'd forever be our first best friends. I couldn't have asked for better siblings like the ones I have, they will forever be dear to me.

I remember asking my Mom if we could please take him back. In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t.

Hahahahaah I can imagine😂😂

Ohh Eric this was so nice to read, I kept grinning from ear to ear from start to finish. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful piece😊😊

I'm glad you were lucky enough to have a good relationship with your siblings too! I appreciate you taking the time to read it!

Going to the farm together with my siblings is one of the memories that I can't easily forget. Well many years later and looking at many of us, we have really grown and it has become the experience of the past

What early memories do I have of my sibling is staying together at home when our parents went out on business and didn't come home until after midnight. I was around 6 years old at that time and my older sister was 8 years old. I was very scared when it rained heavily and the lightning was very strong and the electricity went out. My sister comforted me like an older sister who is responsible for her younger sibling.

How times really flies sometime that we look at some of the things we are doing before but right now we are no more doing it any longer