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Posts Tagged ‘memories’

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The day started off quite boring… a visit to the Folk Museum.  In some ways, this could have been fun, but the environment was just not right.  I mean, it was too hot and the tour guide’s voice just buzzed in the background.  She had to explain every, and I mean, EVERY, little detail about each of the artifacts.  It’s her job, but was that really necessary?  She could have given us a brief summary and given us more time to explore for ourselves… that’s why there were notecards next to each item.  Anyway, at one point, my friend Tuyen and I roamed off and came across a bench.  Now, if you did as much walking as we did on the program, you would understand how lovely it was to see something that can be sat on.  The bench was made out of wood and on any ordinary occasion, I would have complained about the wooden bench.  But as of that moment, it was rest time!  So, Tuyen and I popped a squat on the bench and leaned our backs against the wall.  A couple of minutes passed before the camera man (yep, he showed up everywhere we went) walked into the area that we were in.  He had the camera in one hand and the other hand was wiping sweat from his forehead.  I must repeat, it was just too damn hot.  He saw us resting while everyone else was exploring the museum.  A staccato of a moment was spent in silence and staring back and forth.  Then laughter entered the atmosphere.  It was funny- the situation, the bench, the camera man walking in.  The moment is so hard for me to describe, but it was one of those awkward but funny moments.  The laughter kind of cooled down the atmosphere and it was just a good moment in time.  Resting on a bench, back against the wall, staring at the near-empty gift shop, echoes of silence, laughter.  Life doesn’t always get that good.

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As I was glancing at the photos on my fridge a couple of hours ago, I noticed one that was taken when I was in kindergarden.  I was sitting at my table with 3 other people.  I remember that I used to sit at the “yellow horse” table.

In the midst of reminiscence, the janitor in my elementary school popped into my head.  Everyone called him “Mr. Tom” and he was such a lovable guy.  When I was in kindergarden, he always stopped by the class and snuck up behind me.  Mr. Tom also liked to joke that the pink barbie car on the shelf next to me was my ride to school everyday.

13 years is a long time and I’ve forgotten much about Mr. Tom.  I’m a little upset that all I remember are the two things I wrote about above.  He was a very funny and silly guy… but that’s all I know now.  Despite how he has faded in my memories over the years, his face is still crystal clear in my mind: bald with a white beard, round body… a close resemblance to Santa, and a goofy smile on his face.

No matter how hard I try to think, I can’t come up with anything else about Mr. Tom.  This saddens me.  I wish I could go back to kindergarden and meet Mr. Tom all over again.  This time, I would take a closer look at the details on his face, note some of his unique personality traits, and talk to him a little bit more.  If only I could meet Mr. Tom again.  Now that I think about it, he also used to say that I was going to be a superstar.  What would he think, say? … if he met the me that I am now- accomplished, mature, responsible, driven.  In fact, it’s been 13 years and I am heading off to college next year.  Mr. Tom has not seen me in such a long time.  Last time he saw me, I was roughly 3 ft. tall with a Little Mermaid backpack.  Now, I am 5’2 with binders and textbooks in my arms as I walk to each of my 6 AP classes.

That’s enough about me.  How are you, Mr. Tom?  Are you well?  Are you sad?  Are you lonely?  Are you hungry?  Tell me.  I haven’t thought about you in a long time, I hope you can forgive me.  I wonder why you were sent to my thoughts today.  You know, you weren’t just a janitor.  Everyone loved you and respected you.  To me, you were the grandpa I never had.

Mr. Tom, I hope you are happy wherever you are now.

I never had the opportunity to formally bid you adieu.

Last that I heard, you passed away.

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