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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

The Hunger Games and Memorable Connections

Making memories with people has always been a crucial aspect of my life. Some memories have been so good I wish I could hold them in my hands, while others have wounded me so deeply that I am a different person due to the action-- and I can't really help it. Those negative memories are the ones I push aside and consciously look the other way when their ugly little faces pop into my recollection. I must admit that I have been able to identify with and even help countless friends, acquaintances, and strangers because of my life's memories. So, for that reason alone, I do not hold complete disdain for the bad ones. I choose to forgive, try to forget, and use the experience to serve and lift anyone who crosses my path.

In The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, many memories are made between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale. There is hunting, gathering, talking, kissing, and the thrilling, chilling Games. I wasn't sure how I would like the books prior to digging into the series, but love them I do! I have special memories of staying up late just to read more and talking with friends about the plot and mad writing skills of Suzanne Collins. Mockingjay drove people to near argument and frustration and I won't ever forget it. Reading the books is a pleasure, but I also look forward to the movie that comes out this year with anticipation.

I love many lines from all the books. Yet after reading each of them, I would say one of the most telling lines comes from page 32 of The Hunger Games:

To this day, I can never shake the connection between this boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave me hope, and the dandelion that reminded me that I was not doomed.

Innumerable random items connect people to specific memories.

I cannot see butterscotch pudding and not think of my BFF. It is simply impossible to not remember that time, all brokenhearted and crying, I was comforted by that delectable stuff. Yeah, when I go to the grocery store and walk down the isle with the boxes of pudding mix-- the memory comes back. Every. Single. Time.

When Mervyns was going out of business several years ago, all I could think about was my daughter's first seizure she had when in my care (her very first was on my mom's watch). At that point in time, we had no idea why she wasn't making sense when she tried to talk, why she didn't play normally with other children, or that she would be diagnosed with autism two years later. She was 18 months old and supposedly normal.

We were looking for a birthday gift for a friend. I was looking at shoes and she kept pulling on my leg to be funny--or so I thought--and after a couple of funny times and me tickling her, the last time was NOT funny. I looked at her to tell her she was a silly girl but she was slumped over gripping my leg and clenching her tiny teeth together so hard I thought she might break them. I did not know what to do. I did not. I had not seen what her first seizure looked like when it started and it had been six months prior and deemed a suspected febrile convulsion. And I had never, in my life, seen anyone else have a seizure. I was ignorant to what I should do to help my child. So, I scooped my baby up and ran like I was running the 50-year dash of my life to the car, buckled her in and drove like a freak--until I saw vomit coming from her nose. Then I was a SUPER FREAK swerving the car across three lanes of traffic to pull over, ripping her tiny flailing body from her buckled up seat, and SCREAMING for help in the parking lot of a McDonald's because I didn't have a cell phone yet. 

Yes, Mervyns brings back terrible memories for me. I normally would not say this of any decent business, but maybe it was a good thing they went out of business so I can stop remembering that event quite as often.

(Sidenote): Do NOT do what I did. I was young and ignorant. My advice to anyone who is witnessing a seizure is to help the person get in a safe position (typically laying down on their side); do NOT put anything in/near their mouth; check for a medical bracelet for some direction; call for emergency assistance immediately.

I feel so stupid even thinking about my ignorance and the risk I put my child in due to that ignorance. And now, I have told the world.
Boy, do I have a big mouth. (related link: My Big Fat Mouth: an unstructured poem)

Decks of playing cards remind me of playing Tonk, 21, and poker with my dad and brothers.
Slurpees and .22 rifles remind me of going behind Sunrise Mountain to go shooting.
Going to the Hale Centre Theatre reminds me of good times with good friends.
Disneyland reminds me of band and choir adventures, family trips with cousins, aunts and uncles, my mom making my brothers matching shirts and a dress for me in funny prints just in case someone got lost, after my dad passed away-- a flood of memories.
Of course, it is the happiest place on earth.

a junky little snapshot of my dream home :)

What sorts of connections have you made that you treasure or wish you could forget?
Inquiring minds want to know.


  1. Oh the things that spark a memory! lol. And can you believe I haven't read the Hunger games yet?!! Starting them next week! So excited!

  2. I talked about this on my blog, too! http://savvyandsage.blogspot.com/2011/05/srambled-eggs.html

    And just as a side note, those inset metal tracks on Main Street in Disneyland always remind me of the time you and I (and two others) were marching backwards as fast as we could with high-hat cymbals shoved in our stomachs while the heels of our shoes kept getting stuck in those stupid tracks. Why was the band moving SO FAST? The tracks also remind me of the grueling tour of Disneyland behind the scenes we got that same day as we marched (in full wool uniform in the heat/humidity of California in May). It would have been a good memory if we could have left out the heat, speed, distance, and tracks. But then, would I still remember that day so vividly had we left those unpleasant things out? Nope. Thought provoking...


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