Writings

Déjà vu

It’s strange how one simple act can bring a flood of memories that almost knock you to the floor. Something so simple and insignificant, in a way, that simultaneously transport you back in time.

As I stand at my kitchen counter, slicing strawberries, my mind wanders for a minute. My daughters are in the kitchen with me, the oldest singing songs, patiently waiting for us to dig into a bowl of sugar-covered strawberries with graham crackers.

As I watch myself slicing strawberries, I look down at my hands and can almost see my grandmother’s hands instead of mine. The memory is so strong, so familiar, it is as if it happened yesterday. I can see her holding the strawberries, slicing slowly with the knife, the way she showed me. I can see that light brown with a hint of pink nail polish, the one she always wore. And I can smell her. I smell that perfume, the only one she ever had, as if she is standing next to me.

The memory is so strong, I have to stop myself for a minute to collect myself. I miss her so much sometimes. I can remember her showing me how to slice those strawberries in a way that I won’t cut my hands. I remember the smells of her kitchen, especially on holidays, and how she tried to teach me one time how to make her chocolate pie. She never measured a thing and told me things like “a pinch of salt” and “stir it ’til its right.”

I still can’t make chocolate pie and part of me no longer wants to try.

But the point is, as I am making these memories with my girls, I am brought to those memories of my own childhood. The memories that are palpable and real and make you have such a sense of being transported back in time, that you question your surroundings.

I hope, one day, my children will have memories of their own and a moment of déjà vu when they are cutting up strawberries for a snack with their kids. Just like I did.

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