The Big Question

The Big Question #1: Your Earliest Memory


Last Updated on February 12, 2022

And so we come to something new! For the first time in more than a decade, we don’t have a Saturday Six to play. That’s because I felt it was time to retire that longtime feature and put in its place something new that might lure in new players while hopefully keeping all of the people who came week after week to answer my six random questions.

One of the hopes for the Saturday Six over the years was to give bloggers something to post about on a slow day. I think The Big Question might even serve as a better writing prompt, and hopefully even create a more enlightening discussion each week.

Some questions will be serious, some will be whimsical, and others will just be absolutely random. But since only one question can be The Big Question, it should be a bit easier to go a little deeper with your big answer!

So let’s begin with the first edition.

Many years ago, I asked my mom about her mother’s home. When I was born, my mom and I lived with her mother briefly until my dad returned from the Navy and we moved into a home of our own across town. What I wanted to know caught her a bit off guard: I asked if my crib was in a specific part of her mother’s home, a location I couldn’t have known about and had never been told because it had just never come up. I told her I seemed to remember it was in a specific area of the hallway, which in my grandmother’s home, was a large square room near the center of the house that served as the “hub” to lead one into a choice of six rooms.

I told her I had a brief memory, almost in the form of a flashback, of her dad, whom they called “Pa,” standing over my crib and picking me up. I remembered crewcut.

There was just one problem: my grandfather, by then, was hospitalized full-time. He died not long after I was born, so he was never in the home when I was. It couldn’t have been him. But I couldn’t shake that memory. Many years later, I was going though a family photo album and stumbled across a photo of my favorite uncle who, back then, had very short hair like a crewcut. He looked a lot like his father. And I realized he was the one who had picked me up and held me.

Still, without that glimmer of a memory, there’s no way I could have known that scene well enough to have asked about it.

With that, it’s time to ask…

The Big Question

What is your earliest memory?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.


  • We had this old accordion in a big black leather case, and it sat next to the living-room bookshelf, between the shelf and the door out to the balcony. For whatever reason, in my wild imagination, Statler and Waldorf, the mean old hecklers from the Muppet Show, lived behind that accordion case. I firmly believed that if I walked past that case, they would rise up and peek over it with their large, malevolent eyes, and grab at me.

  • My earliest memory that is more than just a fragment is very sad and traumatic, I was about six years old the day I killed “Petey” our pet parakeet. As you can imagine it is a lasting memory.

    It was in the first house that I knew. It was a two story colonial with a typical floor plan, when you entered the front door the stairs to the second floor were in front of you and off the right was the dining room with a door to the kitchen. To the left was the living/family room with a door out to a screened in porch in the back of the house. On the right side of the family room in back of the stairs was a hallway to the kitchen with a bathroom off it toward the back of the house and a stairway down to the basement under the stairs. The hallway had a door into the family room.

    Petey had the “run” of the house; he wasn’t caged except at night. So you could usually find him perched on some piece of furniture happily singing away or he would hop on your shoulder and beg for treats, but most of the time he sat in his cage with the door open singing .

    One day I was running down the hallway from the kitchen to the family room when I slammed the door behind me and I heard a thud. I opened the door and there was Petey lying on the floor dead.

    My parents bought me a new parakeet when we moved to our new house, but it wasn’t the same. I was afraid to let him fly around the house so he was caged all the time.

    My brother always had a dog, but I never had another pet.

    • Oh, no…so sad, indeed, Diana. Thank you for sharing that.

      It’s amazing how something like that can stay with us for so long and so vividly, isn’t it?

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