I visited my dad in August. We were sitting around a table with friends when I shared a memory of my childhood. This memory was of a key moment in my childhood and I’d shared it with many people over the years, but I’d never related it in front of my dad before.
I don’t remember the exact year, but it was the year Wendy’s appeared for the very first time in our town. I’d never heard of it. You might be old enough to remember what an early Wendy’s looked like.
My dad decided we should eat there. He parked, and the place scared me. The windows were tinted and I could see rows and rows of beads hanging halfway down the glass.
I shook my head. No way was I going in there.
My dad said we were there to eat.
Nope. I shook my head. I must have been about eight.
He said he’d go in without me.
I didn’t believe this. I refused to go in.
He shrugged. He got out of the car and went in.
I sat alone in the car wondering if he was safe. Then I wondered if he’d bring me anything to eat. My stomach rumbled with hunger.
I thought about rushing in and finding my dad, but I was then scared I’d get lost. It looked dark inside. What if I couldn’t find him?
No matter. I could wait. He would surely bring me food.
Well, he didn’t. He ate his meal inside and came out empty-handed.
I was shocked. And hungry.
So, I tell this story to my table of listeners, and my dad laughs. “I did that?” he asked.
“Of course, you did,” I replied.
He shook his head. “I don’t remember ever doing that. I don’t believe I’d ever leave you alone in the car.”
“But you did.”
“Well, that wasn’t very nice,” he said. “I can’t believe I did that.”
My friend chimed in that it had happened in the 70s, and that if’d tried that today, he’d probably be arrested.
My dad continued to shake his head and laugh.
Maybe I’m imagining things? I assured my dad I wasn’t holding a grudge. I thought it made a great story.
But dad doesn’t remember. He could losing his memory, but I don’t think that is the case. Our minds just hold on to different things. I wonder what he remembers that I don’t?
But that was such an important moment for me when I was a kid. It’s funny to think my dad doesn’t remember it at all.
What do you remember that someone else has forgotten? How confident are you that the way you remember it is right?