Sunday, August 12, 2007

Funerals and memories

When I was about 12 years old my friend Billy and I walked the dozen or so blocks to a grocery store on Scotia in Winnipeg's North End. We had pooled our resources - Billy had 13 cents and I had 12 cents - to buy a 25 pack of Du Maurier. It was our first pack of cigarettes. Because he had contributed 13 cents Billy laid claim to 13 cigarettes and I took the remaining 12. We smoked all the cigarettes as we walked home. I don't remember if Billy reacted the same way that I did but I distinctly remember the dizziness and the nausea. We both overcame as we both became smokers.

Last week I got to Winnipeg in time to attend Billy's funeral. Billy was 61. It had been years since we had talked or seen each other.

Billy's funeral and the people attending brought me to thinking about my growing up years. And then I left the funeral to move my mother out of the house that I grew up in.

My 93 year old Mom moved to a great retirement residence where she will be with people, be entertained and monitored. It will be great for her and good for me and my sister. She left the house willingly, knowing it was the right thing to do but as she said many times the house was filled with a lifetime of memories.

As my sister and I prepared the house for sale the memories that had started with Billy's funeral grew and expanded and occupied my mind.

You can never go home again - Winnipeg is not my home now - it is only the place I come from. Yet the memories and the people from my past are present with me continually. Spending time with my childhood friends seems natural. Despite a lack of regular communication it seems that within seconds we are back to the closeness and naturalness that was part of our old friendships.

There have been too many funerals in the last while.

There have been many memories.

I dislike the funerals - the memories I cherish



Post a Comment

<< Home