Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Events That Shape Our Lives by Michele Ashman Bell

The other evening my daughter and I were watching TV and as I scrolled through the channels I came across an old episode of "I Love Lucy." I felt as though old friends had entered my family room. There was Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred, caught up in one of Lucy's crazy schemes, and I felt as though all the years melted away and I was a young girl again. My daughter, 11 years old, enjoyed the show with me and I told her how I had seen every episode at least a dozen times. Lucy was part of my childhood.

As I pondered this fact, I began to think of many of the events and moments throughout my life that have shaped me and had some sort of impact on who I am and what I store in my memory bank. Many of them are moments that are important enough that I want to make sure my children know about them.

I remember watching the Beattles on the "Ed Sullivan Show" and feeling special that they had a song with my name, "Michelle, my Belle..." and thinking Paul was as dreamy as they come.

I remember in 1969 when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. I stood in awe and watched the news footage and heard the famous words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

I remember the Vietnam War and how scary and confusing it was to me. I never fully understood that war and why our soldiers were treated so despicably until I did research for my Vietnam War series, "Timeless Moments" and "Forget Me Not." There have been other conflicts that have had a profound effect upon me and my family. As upsetting as some are to remember, there are things about them I hope I never forget and want to make sure my children remember.

I remember when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, an event I thought would never happen in my lifetime. Truly a miracle.

And more recently, I remember 9-11 and the horror I felt as I watched the twin towers engulfed in flames.

Events like these and others, contribute to who we are and what we become. Even though it shocks my children that I grew up with 5 channels on a black and white TV, no dishwasher, no microwave and no cell phones, it's all part of who I am. These memorable moments, good and bad, define us and help us grow.

What are moments and events in your life that stand out?


Anna Buttimore said...

Very thought provoking. I remember when Princess Diana died. The radio alarm came on in the morning, and of course it was in Welsh, but it was playing very dirge-like music and I thought I could understand the announcer saying that Princess Diana had been killed, but was sure I must have misunderstood. I woke my husband, and I was right. Such a shock! I remember watching the twin towers come down on TV too and being in total disbelief.

Gale Sears said...

Oh, Michele...I laughed and cried my way through your post, because I remembered everything you remembered--from Lucy stomping grapes to the falling of the twin towers. We truly are our experiences.