My memory is not the best. I usually attribute that to trauma; at the age of 12 from my father’s sudden death. Also the 60s drug culture and my tendency to throw caution to the wind. Writing has helped me to open up some of those closed portals to yesterday. My lack of memory has served me well by sheltering me from many painful experiences. But it has also dwarfed me in that I am unable to recollect pleasant memories, including those from my love-filled childhood. I’ve never held on to old pictures or family memorabilia. I have no items from my childhood, no baby books, no precious family photos; nothing to lose, right? Nothing useless to cling to, like a dear memory of a person who will eventually be ripped away from you. These contracts we make in our psyche are strong. They can rule our life and destroy it too.
So I am attempting to pry open locked doors and step into my memory.
I oil the locks with tears and use strong intention to see a face, hear a voice, feel a feeling. It’s not easy. One I have been able to pull out is the memory of my dad reluctantly agreeing to read the morning funnies to me. Since he was a firefighter and only home half the time, every other Sunday was his ‘sleep in until church’ day. The morning paper would arrive early. I was ready. I would tear through the useless news and head straight to the comic section, which I referred to as the ‘funnies’. I would perch myself outside of my parents bedroom while all my brothers and sisters were still fast asleep. The moment I heard movement and saw my mom come out the bedroom door into the kitchen, I made my move. I moved close to the bed rustling the paper loud enough so my dad would certainly wake up. He would lift up, look down, and I suppose make an instant decision, send me away so he could sleep or invite me up so he could daddy. It was always the latter. I would say, “Daddy will you read me the funnies? Please?” He would say, “Get up here, which one do you want first?” And I would point to ‘Little Lulu’. Then, for the next 15 or 20 minutes, I would have what I wanted most in the world, my dad’s total and undivided attention. I would giggle and he would say, “Just one more Peggy” and read ‘Peanuts’ and put down the paper and then I would giggle and say “Just one more daddy”. That is where I learned the art of persuasion and the truth of love.
Oh sweet memories, like dreams, you sometimes hide from us, but when you appear and let us in we find treasures richer than gold.
Peggy Perry-Hill has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. She spent many years as a public school teacher. Her goal was always to be a full time writer. She has spent the last 25 years traveling the globe with her husband John Two-Hawks, presenting concerts workshops and retreats. Her mantra has been 'making music and making friends'. Peggy has also written several books with her latest being 'Give Peas a Chance' a nostalgic 60s cookbook which she wrote to hold onto some levity in her life during the pandemic. She has facilitated Women of Wisdom (WOW) retreats for over 15 years. Peggy is the owner of Circle Studios Records and CSR Media Publishing Company. Her passion is compassion and she has stood for decades by another mantra, Love is a Verb, so her main goal in writing is to inspire her readers into action. Peggy Perry-Hill is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves writing, music, theater and culinary arts.