When I was one year old, my parents moved across the country from New York City to the suburbs of Kansas City to be closer to my mom’s parents.
My dad had been a New Yorker through and through - raised on the Upper East side, he spent his younger years sneaking into jazz clubs, playing in a trio around town, and starting out his writing career at various magazines he secretly hated, while staying up late to write his own novels.
When Janet was 12 years old, her mother emigrated to the United States. In Jamaica there were many families like hers, where moms or dads had to work outside the country to support their families. The act of leaving in order to strengthen a family's resources was a powerful act of love and sacrifice, but to twelve-year old Janet, it represented it's own challenges.”
I onced asked my granddaughter what she would say when people asked what she remembered about her grandmother. I expected her to say something like, “she taught me how to knit;” or, “she made the most delicious cream cheese French toast.”
If you've ever read Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past" you will understand where I'm going with this. Proust's narrator takes a bite of a madeleine and is instantly transported to another time and place in which he reunites with all the characters and places and events of his far-away past.