You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If one carries many such memories into life, one is safe to the end of one's days, and if one has only one good memory left in one's heart, even that may be the means of saving us.
***From The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
Today it's a clear, crisp fall day. It's the kind of day where everything is more vibrant. Sunrises. The glad-to-be-home scent of an apple crisp baking. The triumphant blare of a marching band. The tartness of an apple. Even memories are more intense this time of year.
This time of the year I think of my Uncle Don. When I picture him, he's always smiling. Always. Uncle Don wore a megawatt smile, capable of brightening any room. Even as I write this and picture that grand smile, I smile. It's that powerful of a smile.
Every Friday evening in the fall, my Uncle Don and cousin Tim would pick me up and we'd go to the Pomona High School football game. While other kids played touch football or flitted about the concession stand, Tim and I were expected to watch the game. At halftime we would visit the concession stand for a bag of popcorn and Coke, and then we'd return to the game. Even if there was no doubt to the outcome of the game, we'd stay for the final tick of the clock.
I know that my words don't fully capture the memory, but that doesn't matter to me. What matters is that I keep trying to find the right words. What really matters is that I'm still able to step into a fall evening, close my eyes, transport myself back in time, and linger a little longer with my Uncle Don.
clear eyes, full hearts can't lose,