Service of Crazy Memories and What Triggers Them

January 1st, 2024

Categories: Advice, Memories, New Years Eve, Strangers

A fellow customer at the post office asked if I spoke Spanish because she wanted to warn a mother of two little children about kidnappers. She said she’d once stopped the kidnapping of a child in a public place. Her target this day was a young mother who was allowing her little ones to run around the large Grand Central Post Office far from her and often out of sight.

I don’t speak Spanish and one of the Postal workers told the customer that nobody at work that Saturday did either.

Do mothers like to be given advice by strangers?

I’ve written before about this incident that the potential kidnapping reminded me of. I was at O’Hare in Chicago on my way to NYC. My trip started on a puddle jumper from mid Illinois. A mother handed me her infant and said, “could you please hold her while I go to the ladies room?” and she was off before I could blink. I wondered if I’d ever see her again. When she returned, I asked her why she dared do this, and she said she knew I was safe because she had seen my husband at the originating airport. He was in an Air Force uniform, so she felt I was a good bet. Such faith in strangers was nuts at any time.

You can hardly pass another New Years without memories, sane or crazy, happy or sad.

What triggers your memories?

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12 Responses to “Service of Crazy Memories and What Triggers Them”

  1. Deb Wright Said:

    For me, what triggers memories are looking at objects that I have not seen in a very long time. And my dreams are full of memories. Last night I dreamed of having lunch with my colleagues, only I couldn’t find my wallet, as I was supposed to pay the entire bill. Now, this never happened, but what triggered the dream was that yesterday I canceled my credit card, as I suspected fraud. Also, your story of the baby that you were holding at O’Hare triggered another memory of going to New York with Carl and Daniel and a three- month- old Rachel. It was twenty below zero. I wanted to go so much because my grandmother was declining. Well, our car made it to the airport with no trouble: I found out why later. The weather was so severe that all the county roads were closed.
    When we checked in, people stared at us. The flight attendant (I can still see her face) just glared at us and pulled Rachel’s blanket over her face and said something to the effect about terrible parents. Memories , memories…

  2. ASK Said:

    Depending on my mood, almost anything…a name, a scent, a comment, a photo…Happy New Year!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Deb,

    Objects also trigger memories for me. I have a small Limoges candy dish that my mother treasured because her best friend–after whom I was named but who had died before I was born–gave it to her. I think of mom and of the friend I never met when I see it.

    The Christmas ornaments people have given me over the years….I could go on and on–but the copy would be of interest only to me.

    What a terrible flight attendant. People who don’t mind their business give me the pip. In a way I was glad that the woman couldn’t communicate with the young mother at the post office because I don’t think others should be quick to advise parents about their children. If there were a gentle, nonjudgmental way to do it, it would be OK I guess.

  4. Loretta Adams Said:

    Loretta on Facebook: Memories…I keep a Christmas Journal – logging notes – gifts, menu, guests and a few notes about that year, ie why a gift was special, who we toasted, etc. I place a handwritten note in a decorative Christmas item that may have been gifted to me that year and its meaning. I save photo Christmas cards of family/friends, frame them in red frames and put them on piano each year…especially funny ones. I have a stocking for my husband and write a memory of him or a place we visited when he was alive and put it in the stocking, …we will do the same this week for my daughter who
    Passed last year…anyone who visits can also tuck a little note in….and on Little Christmas I read theme. This year I had photo ornaments made for a few people with a photo of my daughter with them…how she would want to be remembered…happy & laughing! Happy New Year& Merry Memories!

  5. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Photos.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Linda:

    For sure.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:

    ASK,

    Every Christmas I make thumbprint cookies. The oven and scent of them baking warm my apartment and heart. My mother made them every year and, I was told, so did her mom.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Loretta,

    You are such a strong woman. The way you remember and cherish your husband and daughter brings tears. You keep them present–in your life in a positive way.

    My husband gave me a Christmas card every year. I need to be in just the right mood to be able to see his handwriting and read his messages.

  9. Loretta Adams Said:

    Loretta on Facebook: every year Tom gave me the Annual Christmas Snowflake ornament…my step daughter continues the tradition after he passed. We always hung them from the chandelier—they are cherished and when the sun hits the glisten and dance in the ceiling. Bittersweet but he is always there with us when we eat…and do is Courtney who lives in London and not always here for Christmas.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Loretta,

    There go my tears again. Hallmark should hire me. If I don’t cry, toss the card!

  11. Lucrezia Said:

    I’ve been told that I don’t look maternal, so it’s not surprising that strangers don’t hand over their babies for whatever reason. (Makes sense — I don’t care for babies) However, if someone should judge differently, and one was plopped in my arms, dollars to donuts it would start to scream and attract the closest policeman – thus alarming the parent and relieving me of unwelcome responsibility!

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    Your comment made me laugh!

    It’s sad that people must be vigilant and suspicious of strangers though this is nothing new.

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