Tag Archives: memory

Graveyard Walk

Take a graveyard walk down memory lane

See all I had to lose, in order to ever gain

See the broken bones and the lifeless hearts

See the sacrifices made, in search of a new start

This tombstone here is so special to me

Lay down roses and imagine what could be

Lay down letters that will never be returned

Lay down sage, light a match and let it burn

The ghosts wander waiting and listening for prayers

Tell them all my secrets I am willing to share

Tell them scary stories about my own waking life

Tell them there is better reason to fear the day, than to fear the night.

Gram

I just got the news that my grandma passed away last night. I’m really going to miss her, and would like to dedicate some words & memorable photos in her honor…

Growing up, I was very close with my Gram. For a grandma who comes from a completely different time, stuck in her ways, she still managed to be the life of the party — always ready to play games, sing, dance, and have fun. She never let aging stop her, making an effort to stay active and keep in shape. Her restless soul would never let her slow down. 

I believe Gram’s greatest pet peeve was missing out (serious FOMO) and so she pushed herself to keep up with the rest of the family, even if that meant going on strenuous hikes with us even though she was in her 80s. Family was the most important thing to Gram and she is a big reason why we stayed close over the years. 

Gram lived life to the absolute fullest — the liveliest person you could ever meet. In fact, she made a point to celebrate the birthdays of those who passed away long ago — for example, “my grandpa would have been 130 years old today, so I made this cake to celebrate his 130th birthday! Happy 130th, grandpa!”

I have wonderful memories of spending the week at Gram’s during summers. She loved taking her grandchildren to Premise Made and spoiling us with ice cream and candy. Lolipops were always fully stocked in her car. One of her favorite things to do with the family was play board games — and she was fiercely competitive. During a game of spoons, she once punched her grandson over the last spoon. Losing was another great pet peeve of hers.

Gram loved being the center of attention and entertaining everyone. She was always photo-ready and you could never catch her in sweats or makeup-less. But if you try to complement her, she could never take it, and would dismiss you immediately. Gram loved dancing and took tap lessons well into her 70s. As much as she complained about “today’s music just sounding like noise,” and how much she preferred her jazzy old-school sounds, you would still catch her dancing like no one’s watching to Beyonce at weddings.

I found Gram to be a wonderful, totally one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable grandma. She was a great role model for her grandchildren. Strong morals were very important to her. Much of her time was spent volunteering and giving service to those less fortunate. She was highly religious but never forced her beliefs on others. She never drank alcohol. One of my favorite lines (from Matt & Kat’s wedding)…

Gram: Julie, aren’t you going to drink wine? You’re 18 now.

Julie: I can’t, the drinking age is 21.

Gram: I wish it was 21!

Julie: No, it is 21…

Gram: I know, I wish the drinking age was 21! That’s how it should be!

Her life was full of so many battles — but her struggles made her stronger and Gram was a fighter who could not accept loss. She also came from a time when women were conditioned to be housewives: voiceless and blindly obedient to men. And yet she was able to rise above sexism — she is the one of the most independent women I have even known. Gram taught me that age is just a number, and how important it is to keep pushing yourself. When she was happy, she was absolutely joyous, and nothing in the world could bring her down. What made her happiest was being surrounded by people who care.

Forbidden Knowledge (chapter 3)

Thanks so much for reading. Please start here at chapter 1 and then go here to chapter 2.


“I’ll tell you later,” the mysterious man replied to an eager and impatient Alice.

She sighed with disappointment but also knew that time was creeping towards opening hours and she needed to get back to the front desk before anyone noticed.

“Yeah, I better go now,” Alice agreed, suddenly too aware of the fact that she was not supposed to be here. She swiftly headed towards the exit and then paused to turn to the man, “thanks so much for showing me around. I know you didn’t have to… nor were you even supposed to.”

“Don’t mention it,” he said with a slight grin and head tilt that made Alice’s heart skip a beat.

“Just one last thing,” she added, “I’m so sorry but… what was your name again?” she asked with nervous laughter.

“You can call me Q.Z.”

As the day went on, Alice could not stop thinking about what a fascinating morning she had. She wondered when she would be able to go to the attic again, perhaps late during the night. The books were so intriguing, maybe she could convince Q.Z. to let her borrow just one… or two… or a whole collection. But what she truly wanted to know more about were those letters!

By closing time, she still hadn’t seen Q.Z. Tomorrow was a new day. Alice’s mind was full of so much curiosity that she had to start writing down all her thoughts and questions just to keep track of them.

The next day, she did not see him at all. And then a full week went by and she still hadn’t seen him. It wasn’t fair; he left her with so many questions. She found herself desperately asking co-workers about a “Q.Z.” — but they were clueless. No one knew who he was. She even went so far as to describe his appearance to others, and nobody knew who she was talking about.

Fueled with frustration, Alice decided to return to the attic. Once again she arrived at the library in the early morning hours before sunrise. She climbed up the same ladder and found the same spare key to open the locked door.

“Hello?!” she called out as soon as she entered the attic. “Q.Z.?”

No response.

Her heart was beating super fast. She knew she could not stay for long, but since she was already here… she casually gravitated towards the chest full of letters. Unsure if it was her imagination or not, she thought she heard footsteps, which made her panic. Acting quickly, she grabbed a random letter, folded it up, and then stuffed it in her pocket. She ran and hid behind one of the bookshelves. Waiting for a minute… she no longer heard any noises, and so she made a brisk exit.

Alice ran to the bathroom and locked the door so she could read the random letter she had grabbed. Why am I so drawn to these letters? she asked herself, what is this need to find out more about them? Why did I have to steal one?! Oh my gosh, I am totally going to get caught up for this… I don’t care! I have to know!


My dearest,

I was pondering over the thought of “memories.” What does it mean to have a memory? How can we trust that we remember things the right way? What good do memories serve us?

The bad memories are so painful. My heart becomes as heavy as a stone and falls to the ground. My face turns stiff. My throat tightens and it becomes hard to breathe. The world around me has a bluish tint. I want to run away screaming at the top of my lungs. They serve as a painful reminder that the past is NEVER in the past. And so I forget the bad memories.

The good memories… those are almost worse. The good memories mock me with evil laughter. I will never be able to relive them. My veins contract as it becomes harder for my heart to pump blood throughout my body. They serve as a painful reminder that the past is ALWAYS in the past. And so I forget the good memories.

What am I left with? I am left with the present… the beautiful present! That is all we need. I can inhale and exhale with ease. There is no sense of separation. Everything simply is as it is.

Love always, xoxo.


Alice thought — if some strange and puzzling man who goes by “Q.Z.” is going to get her hooked on a mystery and then completely disappear, then she is just going to have to solve it herself.

Unsure of where to start, that night, Alice turned to the Internet. First, she did more research about the library and if there was any information regarding “the secret attic” — nope, there was nothing. Next, she tried to figure out ways she could accurately DNA test the letter — no such luck. Finally she gave up, and determined that she would just have to go back to the attic tomorrow morning until she found her answers, no matter the risk.

That next day before sunrise, she once again returned to the attic. Startled, she noticed that a light was already on. She cautiously peered her head in to see who was there — and there he was!

As soon as Q.Z. spotted her, he motioned her to quickly come inside. So she locked the door behind her and anxiously ran over to him.

“Where’ve you been?” Alice shouted, “You left me with so many questions! You told me you would explain everything!”

“Shhh!” he quieted her in a soft voice, “Listen. If you care about your safety, your health, your life… you’re going to have to pretend you were never up here. You know absolutely nothing.”

“What’s going on?” Alice nervously asked. It was like a totally different man — face pale, body stiff, and eyes anxiously wide. Not the cool and composed image she remembered.

“You need to return that letter. You can’t be sneaking up here, stealing things, trying to get more information. You’re going to get yourself sucked down a tunnel you do not want to go down.”

“Who wrote them? Why are they stashed away up here with all these forbidden books? I don’t understand why, but I just have to know!”

“Knowledge is dangerous,” he shook his head, “there are some things you should be happy not to know.”

“Knowledge is power,” Alice struck back.

“And power is dangerous.”

“I’m sorry, I’m not trying to get you into trouble and I will gladly forget everything if that’s what makes you happy. Can you please just tell me who wrote these letters? And then my mind can finally settle in peace.”

He stood there in silence like he was heavily contemplating what he wanted to say next. Finally, he burst out, “you wrote those letters!”

“Huh?” Alice stared at him, completely perplexed.

“You wrote these letters in secret. You had to disguise your handwriting,” he explained, “of course you can’t remember…”

“How is that even possible?” She asked, “what’s going on?”

To be continued…