At times we go to great trouble to create those moments that we hope will last a life time in our memories. It often seems, the more time and trouble put into making a memory, the less likely the memory will linger. It’s the little moments, or the ones that come completely by accident that are the ones that we savor be it good or bad - they tend to have the longest staying power.
Think of all the holiday meals where every care and thought was put into the presentation - in hopes of capturing that text book image of how a holiday should look, feel and smell. Now think back to what you truly remember. For me…it is definitely the time my poor great aunt lost her dentures at the dining room table.
She was a bit of an oddity to my cousins and siblings as we only saw her a couple of times a year and she never learned to speak a word of English. We knew just enough Italian to get by to make pleasantries with her but she still frightened us. Not so much that she couldn’t speak English as her smile spoke a universal language letting us know that she truly enjoyed being in our company. She however had this painful habit of having to pinch our cheeks while speaking to us in Italian and shaking our gentle little faces with every syllable of her excitement. We would line up, fighting over who should be first because we didn’t want to be in her claw like grip. Our grandmother would kindly remind her, “Rachel, it hurts the children when you pinch their cheeks,” but apparently our chubby cheeks were far too appealing to her to accept our grandmother’s plea. We would walk away with reddened faces and the ‘mark of Aunt Rachel’ as we referred to it.