Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 2 May 2007

Memories & Family

My uncle is writing his memoirs and sharing chapters as he goes along. 

Honestly,  I’ve enjoyed reading it, but have been reading mostly as a spectator.  After all he’s talking about things and times that are outside of my memory reach.  Now at this age, only about a third of my life includes memories of the Walters outside of my father.  And of course later, Aunt Cec, as she made some effort to keep in touch with me.

I still remember my mother’s attempts to get me to keep in touch with them, stymied almost for good or greatly lessened after I became a teenager.  “I am the child,” I said to her coldly.  They could do the work.  A part of my thing as a child [I don’t think I’m unusual in this actually] is reading the things never said [body language shouts] and I didn’t like the things they never said about her.

Reading the sections today was different though. 

It was just a few sentences, with Grandma and Grandpa see him and family off at the Norman Manley Airport for his stint as Counsellor for the Jamaica Foreign Service.  [There are diplomats on both sides of my family].  The sections are dated.  Those few sentences both pulled and properly filed memories of the man I considered first in my life.  Sorry, Daddy Pat and Grandpa Young…I miss you both too.  Grandpa Walters was my first loss and more so because he fills more of my childhood memories than even my father.  

I still say his full name out loud sometimes…Aston Bradford Walters…wishing I had a son to give that name.  I like the way it seems to embody some one tall, straight, reserved-strong, silent type.  [Explains a lot…]

I cried… the feelings almost as fresh as when I was shaking in anger that I was being told he was gone and that they hadn’t let me see him in the hospital right before he left… because I was too young. 

I’ve never been young.

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