How could I forget Sally Ride?

Sally Ride, first US woman in space, dies at 61.

I had just turned 14 years old the summer Sally Ride went into space, June 18, 1983.

I had to do the math and figure out how old I was because I couldn’t remember it.  Once I figured out my age and looked at the date, I had to think about where I was living at the time.  The only image that I can picture is my school photograph that was either taken the school year that just ended or the one about to begin, I’m not exactly sure which.

The thing that gets me about it now is that I don’t remember any of it.  I didn’t remember anything about it until I saw something posted on facebook about her passing.  As I read the article, bits and pieces about the hoopla surrounding the event nudged to the surface of my mind, but nothing actually “popped” out for me. Then I remembered how important music was for me back then and searched for the #1 song on the Billboard charts that week, only to discover something that had been significant for me that year, which I had also forgotten. A song from a movie about a woman fighting for her dream.

I read the article and am amazed at how much this woman did to be an example and to show girls and women what is possible to achieve.  What amazes me even more is how ignorant I was of her and her achievements.  Why is that, I wonder?

Was it because it happened in the summertime? If it had happened during the school year, it probably would have been part of a current events discussion in one or more classes, but it happened right after school got out.  The reality is though, that I don’t remember much of anything about world, national, or local events from the time I was growing up.

I’m sure some of it has to do with the fact that we didn’t talk about current events or much of anything else in my family. However, mostly, I think it’s because I had already learned to stay disconnected and to forget.

My mom was married three times by the time I turned 6 years old.  We moved around, a lot.  I was left to my own devices, a lot.  I read, A LOT.  By the time I turned 12 I had attended six different schools in two different states, and lived in a lot of different cities in three different states. I had one or two friends that I can kind of remember from early childhood, but no real friendships from  3rd until 7th grades.  By 7th grade, being the new kid, socially awkward, needy, stand offish, and hyper-defensive meant that I had difficulty making and keeping friends. So, not a lot of personal memories either.

If I think real hard about the sequence of events, I might be able to dredge up memory senses; an image here, a thought there, a feeling maybe. However, there’s no “attachment” to any of it.  I guess that explains why I became kind of wrapped up in the fantasy world of fiction and why, as a young adult, I became a “story teller.”  Meaning, I would rehearse and rehash recent events and happenings, in detail to anyone who would listen.

It makes it hard on my family at times.  I don’t remember a lot of details from the childhoods of my adult children and a lot of what Luna has done and grown with has already faded from my mind.  I remember big picture stuff, but the things that connect the lines and dots of our lives and give depth and significance to our relationships are gone.

It makes me sad, to think about this and come to this realization, again.  I say “again” because, as I’ve been writing this, I remembered that I’d forgotten that I’d forgotten so much.

Thanks for reminding me and so long Sally, thanks for being you.

What A Feeling lyrics ~ [. From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/i/irene-cara-lyrics/what-a-feeling-lyrics.html .]

First when there's nothing
but a slow glowing dream
that your fear seems to hide
deep inside your mind.
All alone I have cried
silent tears full of pride
in a world made of steel,
made of stone.
Well, I hear the music,
close my eyes, feel the rhythm,
wrap around, take a hold
of my heart.
What a feeling.
Bein's believin'.
I can have it all, now I'm dancing for my life.
Take your passion
and make it happen.
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life.
Now I hear the music,
close my eyes, I am rhythm.
In a flash it takes hold
of my heart.
What a feeling.
Bein's believin'.
I can have it all, now I'm dancing for my life.
Take your passion
and make it happen.
Pictures come alive, now I'm dancing through my life.
What a feeling.
What a feeling I AM MUSIC NOW
Bein's believin'. I AM RHYTHM NOW
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life.
What a feeling. YOU CAN REALLY HAVE IT ALL
What a feeling. PICTURES COME ALIVE WHEN I CALL
I can have it all I CAN REALLY HAVE IT ALL
Have it all PICTURES COME ALIVE WHEN I CALL
CALL CALL CALL CALL WHAT A FEELING
I can have it all BEIN'S BELIEVIN
Bein's believin' TAKE YOUR PASSION
MAKE IT HAPPEN
make it happen WHAT A FEELING
what a feeling BEIN'S BELIEVIN' (fade)

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