Prompt 109: Your Earliest Memory of Being Separated From Your Parents
The earliest memory I have of being separated from my parents is when I was about three years old.
When I was three, I went to California with my mom’s cousin. We are not even in touch with him anymore and I don’t remember who it was.
My parents also had a housekeeper that began with my family when I was six months old. She continued working for my parents well into adulthood for all of us. She also has frequently cared for my parents ten grandchildren was well. That included my son twice per week for 18 months when he was a toddler.
I have very little memory of my trip to California. I can remember one picture of the trip amid the Palm trees. It was of me and the cousin. I also vaguely remember flying Pan Am. Eastern airlines somewhat creeps into my memory about that as well. That would not make much sense though.
How come there was an Eastern Airlines and not Western? At least as a major airline. There was also frequent time spent with grandparents growing up.
My maternal grandparents lived in the same area we did, while my paternal grandparents were in another state. I think I once went to visit my grandparents out of state when I was about six or seven. I remember going to a fancy party with my grandfather.
My paternal grandparents were much simpler than my maternal grandparents. The party was something special for my grandfather to go to. It was in the party room of their condo building. I remember having a nice dinner and that there was a band and dancing.
There was also frequent sleepovers at my maternal grandparents because they lived only a few miles from us.
When I was separated from my mom it was much more frequently time alone with my father. He would travel a lot and bring me with him. My brother had been ill frequently as a young child.
My mom had to stay behind to take care of my brother and at times be with him in the hospital. For the most part, we were not separated from my parents very often as children.
Seeing a double rainbow has nothing on that time you were struck with mind-bending, jaw-dropping awe, what did you see?
I don’t have a specific time that I had “mind-bending, jaw-dropping awe”.
My experiences are more varied. I was fortunate enough to travel to some amazing places in my youth. A few places stand out more than others.
The first place that I was in awe of was Rocky Mountain National Park in general and it’s the highest peak, Long’s Peak. I got to hike to the summit twice. It’s an awe-inspiring, amazing place that on a clear day you can see hundreds of miles in a few directions.
The first year I ascended to the summit was an overcast day and it was difficult to see. I was able to go back the next year and get to the top on a much clearer day. It was amazing to know I could see a few states that were hundreds of miles away.
The year following being able to hike to the summit of Long’s Peak I spend six weeks during the summer in Israel. While there I got to go to Masada. I had learned about Masada through many years of religious classes. Being able to get to the top of Masada meant a lot more being there than listening to stories about it or seeing it on a slide.
Out of 40 teens and four adult counselors in our group I was the third one to reach the top. My training over the previous few years set the tone for me to be able to be one of the people in our group to set the pace. We made it up for sunrise and it was an amazing experience.
The most beautiful place I have ever been in the United States is Sedona, Arizona. It’s different from any place I have ever been, particularly in the U.S. Its red rocks and mountainous terrain and canyons would inspire almost everyone.
My final sense of awe came in 1994. I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer for the 1994 World Cup in the media area. Because I volunteered for two months leading up to the June kickoff, I was asked to work on the field for the opening ceremonies.
It was an experience that I was truly “struck with mind-bending, jaw-dropping awe.” Being able to do a job that two billion people around the world would like to have been doing was an incredible experience.
I shared the field with international soccer stars, and entertainment superstars Oprah Winfrey, Jon Secada, and Diana Ross. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and American President Bill Clinton were in attendance and yet I had a better view of the action than they did.
These are all experiences I will never forget. Someday I’d like to at least get back to Long’s Peak and Sedona.
We traveled a fair amount when I was growing up. We had trips to Florida, Mexico the West Coast of the United States and some closer weekend getaways.
My favorite trip as a child was the six weeks I got to spend in Israel. It’s a beautiful historic place and what you learn has far more meaning as you climb Masada, pray at the Western Wall and swim in the in Red Sea than learning about it in a textbook or having a teacher give a lecture about it.
Israel is beautiful and has mange different types of topography for A small country. Jerusalem is amazing. Beautiful, historic and volatile it can be argued it’s the most important city in the world.
Tel Aviv is more cosmopolitan, similar to New York City, Miami or Los Angeles. Its full of beaches, beautiful people, nightclubs and great restaurants.
The trip was a great preparation for college. There was 40 of us in the group and I did not know anyone in the group before I went. It was an incredible experience and one that forced all of us to grow up quickly.
I’ve been fortunate to travel to some amazing places in my life and have some incredible experiences through travel and at home. That trip packed more into a short period of time than anything I’ve done in my life.