Other than that, I haven't dared look through it. It sits behind me in my office, as do her cremains and still-unopened sympathy cards, as I face my monitor and keep imaginary binders on my left. But today is November 22, and that is a day that looms large in me. It is the day of JFK's assassination. And in that very heavy, very-expensive-to-ship box of my Mom's is this.
I was all of 2 years old when JFK was assassinated. My first memory is on that day. We lived in Ludlow, MA, then, in a house I thought of as my grandparents' but later discovered was my parents'. I remember adults crying. My Mom, for sure. My Grandma, yup. I don't picture my Dad in this memory. I remember being struck by the crying of adults. And I remember being plunked down in front of a TV in another room. I feel like I remember watching children's shows, cartoons, but I have a hard time reconciling that with the belief I have that all of the five or six channels we could pick up would have been focused on the news.
Regardless, that memory and my ties to Massachusetts along with my, at the time, closet liberal Mom's likely feeling of kinship with Jackie, fostered an obsession with me about all things JFK in my early childhood. Mom bought a couple of coffee table books on him, and I remember poring over them.