I hope our memories never fade the nuances that make up our everyday lives, the little insignificancies that make up a family’s tradition. I hope we always remember what photographs and parties and diaries never celebrate. And, I hope we always remember to retell those stories long after we are gone.
In my somewhat difficult quest to find out more about my grandmother, and even my own parents, I begin to realise how much and how little, all at once, thirty years fade.
My sister, all of twenty-three now, is thick in the middle of her final law examinations, and as a new chapter heralds in all of our lives, one closes. Growing up, school and later even college examinations were a big part of the family tradition. Not only was it mandatory to make it to the top of class, we also always began each exam with a trivial tradition: father-and-daughter’s visit to the stationery store, and the careful tradition of picking out pens, and pencils, and stencils, and erasers.
Over the years, the tradition became less trivial, nearly superstitious. Even in the years of college awkwardness, it held on. In the upheavals and uncertainties of the last twenty-five odd years, one thing had remained, father-and daughter’s visit to the stationery store before each examination.
Now, it was coming to an end.
To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to build up, a time to break down.
A time to dance, a time to mourn.
A time to cast away stones.
A time to gather stones together. ~ The Byrds, Turn ,Turn, Turn