When I write, I write of my version of experiences. It gets complicated because I have seven external memory drives embedded in my seven older siblings that that have their version of our family experiences.
When I write a memory, sometimes I ask them, “What did Mama and Tata tell you?”
Our father was a man of few words; Mama was a Yankee story-teller, embroidering as needed.
When the stories were repeated, detail after detail falling in place across our eight memories, we knew we were getting as true a tale as our parents could get.
One story that needed no extra invention, and one that our father, clear-eyed and grave confirmed with small nods as mama told it, was one about June 5, 1944. Our parents were stationed in England during World War II, our father a doctor and a Captain, our mother a nurse and a 1st Lieutenant.
“We knew something was up. Orders came down to set up triple beds in each ward. Leaves were cancelled. You were always careful setting up. You can bet we were extra-careful with triple the amount of beds. We were told to get some rest.
The next day, around one in the afternoon, the first of the wounded boys started coming in and they kept coming in for forty-eight hours straight. We saw everything…It was good that we had been so careful setting up.”