Ok, here’s a test … and no cheating by going to Google.
Name the three most remembered events in the last 60 years, the “where were you when” moments in life.
I’d guess that the JFK assassination in 1963, the moon landing in 1969 and 9/11 in 2001 are North America’s Big 3. For those who were alive and old enough to remember, those events are forever etched in their minds as to where they were and who they were with when the news broke.
Based on your age and life interests, there are several others that would round out your Top 10 List. The MLK and RFK assassinations, Paul Henderson’s Summit Series victory goal in 1972, the deaths of Elvis, Princess Di and Michael Jackson, the OJ Simpson car chase, the elections of Obama and Trump, Joe Carter’s “touch ‘em all Joe” home run and Kawhi’s “four bounces and in” game 7 clinching basket.
Now, how about the special personal moments you’ll never forget, is there a date and moment that is forever etched in your mind? Here’s one of mine: August 10, 1973.
On that date I was 7 years old and I sat on my father’s lap on the patio of our family’s Wasaga Beach cottage. He flicked me gently on the forehead with his finger and thumb and said something along the lines of, “let’s always remember today, August 10, 1973, we won’t remember anything else about yesterday or tomorrow, but we’ll always remember this moment of you and me sitting here like this.” I remember the chair, the patio set and the direction we were facing.
Such an odd thing for my dad to do, as that day had no special significance for either of us, it was just another lazy summer evening. But somehow it stayed with us. One year later on August 10, 1974, I went to him and returned the flick on the forehead, “hey Dad, guess what, it’s August 10th”. This took him by surprise, he smiled, his eyes lit up in that way of his, and he pulled out a 10 dollar bill for me.
And thus began a tradition that has lasted over 45 years. Every August 10th I would give him that flick on the forehead (or at least call him with a reminder if we weren’t together that day and then flick him the next time we were). And dutifully, he would pull out a 10 dollar bill, which over time increased to a 20 and then a 50 … inflation and all.
After that first reminder in 1974, I think he remembered each August 10th as well. On some years he would beat me to it, reminding me first before I could get that flick in.
In recent times, the tradition hasn’t been quite the same with my father’s failing health confining him to a bed now and taking away his inability to communicate well, although he still has moments with that special light in his eye, always happy to see his family.
I have remembered every August 10th since 1973. I’d either give him that gentle flick in person, call him on the phone, or in recent years, quietly say, “happy August 10th, Pops” to myself.
For this August 10th, a few weeks after his 85th birthday, it’s long overdue that I return the favour. I’ll flick him gently on the forehead, give him a hug and kiss … and sneak a 100 dollar bill into his hand.
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