Life and death go hand in hand; something must exist in order to cease. I suspect that I am not alone in feeling that these past connections persist for a life time; shaping us while in the flesh, lacing their legacy with ours. Memories are the most valuable inheritance. I celebrate the life of my grandparents and treasured pets, the moments that appear unremarkable often have the greatest impact.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Stirring cold nose soup and preparing Bapa dogs for lunch, Fluffy smoothly dances around the kitchen. Nothing is as it seems. A can of Campbell’s chicken noodle and a hotdog become top secret recipes that only Fluffy knows the contents of. When a utensil is missing it isn’t lost or misplaced, it is the pirates that live in the garage that hoard it in their hidden treasure chest.
Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm outings lived up to imagined expectations; the first visit to a museum at the age of four abruptly unsteadied my understanding of space. Bapa holding Fluffy’s arm and Fluffy grasping my hand as our shoes clicked and echoed through the halls. Waves of vertigo and giddiness overwhelming my senses as portraits gazed and towered over my small frame. No previous experience to compare to or find security in.
A quiet place for reflection and concentration. All details accounted for. Magnifiers and tools cautiously placed within arms reach. Strips of wood carefully soaked and shaped; wheels on axles make pulleys to raise the sails. Delicate workmanship not for glory but for a sense of accomplishment. Being invited into this sacred space was an act of love and affirmation.
Bapa and Fluffy used to go swimming at the community pool. Bapa had to take out his contacts and wear his big black glasses which he called his eyes. His glasses made his eyeballs look gigantic. When he smiled his eyes smiled too. Fluffy always wore a swim cap to protect her downy hair. Her swim cap was colorful and made of stretchy rubber, it even had rubber flowers attached to it. Fluffy was very light and could never dive or sink to the bottom of the pool.
Red tail catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus) swallows pictus catfish (Pimelodus pictus), clown loach (Chromobotia macracanthus) and plecostomus (Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps) compete for overflowing resources, oscar (Astronotus ocellatus) and managuense (Parachromis managuensis) my voracious tank busters, fire mouth (Thorichthys meeki) swallowing his brood to protect them from red devil (Amphilophus labiatus) danger. Finned and scaled room-mates entertain, throughout my twenties, with territorial squabbles eventually approaching a tentative equilibrium.
Jodi our Golden Retriever was our after school companion. She functioned as a living pillow as brother played Nintendo and her tail was blamed one or two times for knick knack breakage. Often she was the center of our latch key games. One short lived game involved brother and I taking turns jumping over her as she slept in the middle of the yard. As one leaped over, the other would yell out “Jodi!” which resulted in the dog standing up tripping the jumper.
Keeters an intelligent bird as far as parakeets go. His favorite place to be was inside my jean jacket pocket. He was a regular sidekick on errands and to trips to the library. He also loved to sit on the dash board as we drove through town, sliding and singing.