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Holding It All Together-Remembering

By Amy McCollom
I woke up the other day, and a memory must have bubbled up in the night from the deep recesses of my brain. I heard a few notes in my head, a little tune that was familiar, but I didn’t have enough of it to put my finger on it. I sat there a minute and tried to hum it a couple of times, then a couple of words came, but still nothing solid.

I asked John if he remembered a song or tune with those words, and he said no, so I figured it was a song from my own personal memory bank since John is a whiz at remembering musical tunes. All I could remember was, “who can make the jellyfish shake, and make the sharks grow pale…” I had a bit of the melody too coming in by then, so I kept humming.

When all else fails, turn to Google. I typed in the words I remembered and I found it instantly. The song is Monstro The Whale sang by Ron Marshall and Connie Zimet. After pulling it up, I played it loudly on my computer several times, much to the dismay of my kids that morning. 

I played it many times that morning, each time remembering more and more; it was like watching a movie in my head from a time when I was a little girl. I was 5 again in kindergarten class, and Mrs. Anderson got out the suitcase that turned into a phonograph. My whole class got excited for music time, especially when she put the magic mirror on top of the record. We would all squeeze in around and watch the pictures on the record reflected in those spinning mirrors, and just like magic, a moving show would delight us.

We all sang along to each of the tunes and watched the different animations on those mirrors. I didn’t care for Dumbo, because the song said something about “watching an elephant fly”, (being a kid who liked to play with bugs) I just didn’t get it when I didn’t see a huge fly. 

Monstro The Whale was one of my favorite songs because I had memorized all of the words. I didn’t realize he was a bad guy, a villain, a terror of the sea. I didn’t understand things like that at the tender age of five, thank heavens. I just loved melodies, and clever rhyming words, and dreams of big fish and seeing the ocean someday. 

I have no idea what brought that memory back to the top of my brain, but it was a nice little visit. I had not thought about Mrs. Anderson’s magic mirror record player in decades, nor Monstro The Whale. Perhaps it came back just in time for me to share it with my grandchildren. Perhaps there is a meaning in the message. I will have to think about this a bit longer. 

I will have to write it down, of course, as I have gotten to the point of taking notes to remember things now. They tell me it’s just the process of natural aging, along with other aches and pains, limping, gaining weight, but I don’t like it.

The other day I got a letter with my new bank card, and the letter said to call if I wanted to get a new PIN number. Well, to be honest, I couldn’t remember if I even had an old PIN number so I reckoned I had better call and find out. Well, such as is these days, the phone call was taken over by robots and I was put into a series of automated selection choices that I didn’t understand, so I hung up and called the bank directly. Sometimes you just need to talk to a real person. Robots don’t understand what we are thinking. They can do simple tasks and maybe complex ones, but they can never build a robot that can think like me, mainly because I’m weird, just ask my kids.

Once I finally got a real person on the line, I asked if I had a PIN on my old card, and she said yes. I asked what it was, and she said she couldn’t tell me, but I could come down to the bank and they could send off a letter and I could find out in 8 to 10 business days. I said, what if I just want a new one for my new card? She said I would just need to enter my old PIN and then I could reset a new PIN to whatever I wanted. I asked her if I could still use my new card like I have always done, by using it as credit, and requiring a signature, and she said, of course!

So, I said, if I had a PIN then technically someone could kidnap me and force me to empty my bank account by using my PIN number then right? She said, yes Ma’am. So I said, if I use a cane for my gimpy leg, eat more cake to have a bigger toosh, move slow, wear a rape whistle, carry a heavy purse, and never use a PIN, then my chances of getting kidnapped are dramatically decreased. Am I correct? 

I heard snickering on the other end of the line, and possibly a snort. Then after several minutes a voice said, “I believe you are right. Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

I said, no, thank you, and hung up.

So the moral of this story is:

Remembering is good, forgetting is ok, and protecting yourself from being kidnapped should always be a priority. Stay safe.

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