Biographical Non-Fiction posted January 28, 2022

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Many Best Days Ever Make a Lifetime

Banked Memories

by Annmuma

“Hey, Ann.  It’s Steve. I’m here”. 
“Come on in.  I’ll be right in.  Coffee should be ready in the kitchen and the cups are next to the pot.”
“Great. I brought sausage biscuits.”

I heard the front door opening and yelled a welcome from the backyard.  Steve and I have been friends since grade school.  We did not see each other from high school graduation until about twelve years ago when we discovered, at a high school reunion, we live less than five miles apart.  He and his wife, Carolyn, and Randall and I began socializing together, going to the Ranger games, took a trip to Vegas, getting together for dinner, that sort of thing.   And when Randall died in December, 2020, Steve and Carolyn stepped up to the plate in so many ways for me.
As weeks passed, Carolyn became more afraid of the virus and now rarely leaves the house.  Steve and I were both employed and we got into the habit of meeting for breakfast about once a week at one of the nearby restaurants.  Steve retired recently and, with the beginning of 2022, my work schedule has become less hectic. Thus, there was the knock on the door this morning.  I knew he was coming, so I left the front door unlocked while I took my dog out back.
Steve and I talk about everything from politics, religion, ballgames to the intricacies of grandparenting.  Our conversations always leave me feeling more optimistic, more positive and excited about life. 
“So, how’s Carolyn feeling this morning?”
“Not sure.  She was still asleep when I left, but her arthritis has been horrific lately.  But, you know Carolyn, she does not want to take medicine.  I don’t know.   What do you have on  your agenda today?”
“Actually, I was just checking in on my Fanstory site a few minutes ago.  There’s new contest posted – Best Day Ever.  What was your best day ever, Steve?
“That’s a difficult question to answer.  Do I pick one event or what?”
“I don’t know.  The contest rules say ‘creative’ approaches encouraged.”
We both laughed and there were a few minutes of silence as we ate the biscuits and drank coffee.   That’s another good thing about a friend, i.e. sitting in silence is not uncomfortable. 
“Well, in high school, I hit that grand slam home run in the district playoffs!  That was a pretty good day!”
“Well, I don’t remember that.  Did we win?”
“It wasn’t your best-day-ever and, yes, we did win!”  Steve replied and we laughed again.
“I remember Daddy picking me and my brother up from school and taking us to the circus in the middle of the day.  Only one I had ever seen.  I was so excited that I had trouble sleeping the night afterwards --- just wanted to talk about it over and over.”
Steve countered with his own next best-day-ever.  “The day I got my driver’s license ranks pretty far up there.  Daddy took me and gave instructions all along the way, pointing out every turn I took too close and every bump I didn’t miss.”
More laughter and another cup of coffee. 
“One of my best days was spent with Merilyn on the train to Dallas. We had all of our worldly possessions in one suitcase each and our entire lives ahead of us.  We were so excited and everything seemed possible.   Yeah, that might have been mine.” 

It made me a little sad to speak that one out loud.
And so it went for the next couple of hours; I remembered meeting my first husband and, after being widowed, meeting my second; Steve talked about his first car; I marveled at how clearly I remember every nuance of each of the days my three children were born and he talked about the feelings generated when your own baby has a baby.   Memory after memory was shared, along with laughs, appreciation for our many blessings and a near-tear here and there.   About 9:30 a.m., Steve looked at his watch:
“Geez, Ann, I’ve got to go.  Carolyn and I are working in the flowerbeds today - if her arthritis will allow it.  If it doesn't, she will give the instructions and I'll supply the labor."  Another laugh and a hugged 'good-bye'.

"Thanks for the coffee!  Are you going to enter that contest?”
“I think I will.  Guess what day is my best day ever?”
“No clue.”
“It’s today!  Not only do I have all of those banked best-day-ever memories to bring out and enjoy all over again, I have a friend with whom to share them and another good memory to bank.” 


Best Day Ever contest entry


The older I become, the more I realize we are what we remember and what we dwell on.
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