Dissect me like a frog, and Area 51 notwithstanding, I believe this is what my emotional autopsy will discover. Maybe these are a window into my soul, or just that I backed them up really good, letting them become a piece of my landscape. It is funny though, in this computerized life when I honestly think “window,” it’s Microsoft, and then a dreaded blue screen, then Bill Gates and “Gates” take me to heaven, where it all makes some odd sense I guess. The real sense however, is in the backup part, and how it will byte you depending on your mother board, should the process be ignored (similar to my dog, who will botch you, as per my grandson). Unless of course, you are one of those bored mothers watching life pass by, and then a back hand is needed in lieu of back-up.
Those earliest memories swirl back now and then, in perfect Rod Serling fashion, and true to form, roll up in black and white. I remember watching Bozo the clown on our small antenna connected set, and from a close up that predetermined Wayne’s World, Bozo popped in, nose to nose scaring me to death. In a horrific Cecil B. De Clown moment, I mentally shut down, developed Post Traumatic Circus Disorder and was bent for life. I also remember the original Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which concerned cigarettes with a sailboat on the package, sitting on my father’s dresser. I do not remember him smoking them, but I knew they were wrong and they were on the dresser of the rightist man I knew, again, bent for life. Around the time these backed up memories began to have true life altering attachment around age 5, I fell pre-tits over teacups, running out to see my father, who was walking up the path he had built from red flagstone. I later discovered he was retuning from a doctors appointment, having been told to stop smoking (ironic huh?). Regardless, I backed up that moment of skin, blood and tears before he got to me. I am sure somewhere in the sectors of my oblongata hard drive, all of these back-ups were important, having never left me, and wait for me in times when I feel exceptionally black and white as I age.
Last Thanksgiving night, after the turkey and dressing, pie and rolls had been finished; my mother fell – odd, as it was only a few feet from the same vintage flagstone beach, which my five year old blood tide had washed up on so long ago. Her fall began an unknowing hard five month count down for her, until she really saw those aforementioned gates. I know in my soul, she walked through them in honor, finding my father and all of her family waiting in a true thanksgiving of life. However, before she left us, she spent some of her time in another place only she could see. A place where she had backed up her life. Looking across the room she saw things unseen or heard by others, she baked and cooked, sorted and clipped coupons, watched television, laughed and kissed small babies. By all accounts she was content, happy and loved surrounded by her life.
When she mentally returned to us, her screen was bluer than I had anticipated. Emotionally, she wasn’t the same. Yes, she was my mother, but my Mom was gone. Mom had always been very observant, comical and sincere. Now however, the observant part of her was no longer on a mission to collect and learn, it was merely to exist. It became obvious her life was ending and she no longer needed a back-up.
Now that Mom has passed away, I piece back those last months a lot and see how she was only offering a back-up for those of us around her if we wanted it. I guess in many ways it was her final gift. I was thinking about this, when my grand daughter began backing up into my lap as I sat on the floor behind her. She was a regular dump truck in motion, just without the annoying noise announcing her position, as one hears beeping loudly in a construction zone. Her load, that being herself, settled in back first against my chest, remembering I was grandma, safe and where she wanted to be. Putting my thoughts and her actions together, it became obvious a real back-up, is more than data or memories, it is who we become. It is a window of sorts, peeking into what makes us who we are, what we want to share, and especially what is passed on by others after we have died.
Once we are gone, who knows what is behind those heavenly gates, or what we retain of the life we once lived. The best I can figure is we need to always move forward, with more than a cursory glance, and to pause for back-ups when needed, to keep our soul grounded. There may not always be space to store things in life, but our storage for life is endless, as long as we back it up now and then, and share more than we delete with those we love.
****For a humorous read – check out my new book, “My Life Has Been A waist”****