Week 4 - Day 1

Weekend Series: Ignite a Memory

DreamTeam Writer: Jaron Camp

Monday, November 28, 2022

Tylenol didn’t do the trick to erase the headaches from time traveling. I pressed my finger between my eyes for momentary relief, but only a cup of coffee would truly help. The brewed elixir had to be black and piping hot, and I couldn't bring liquids with me on the trip.

I went to the local bakery and ordered a fresh cup of java. The pain subsided. Walking to my desired destination never bothered me because I enjoyed taking in the sights of the old neighborhood.

I turned on my invisibility shield (a handy device for every time traveler) and entered the house. Laughter and chatter created a lovely backdrop to the Stevie Wonder record playing in the living room. I almost forgot how pure the music quality from vinyl sounded.

My focus moved to kids sitting around a table, especially the child with the bit of an afro and a scar on his right cheek from when he tried to challenge a hot iron weeks before. He used his fork to scrape the last bit of cream off the plate. I wanted to urge him to go in for seconds and thirds. He was the only child who sipped juice from a real glass. This early morning honor served a young king well on the anniversary of his crowning.

June 21, 1987. The day was hot but not too hot for an Ohio summer. The other kids bounded off to play, but the boy with the scar sat quietly and finished his juice. I folded my arms as I watched, knowing how important this day would become for him. A birthday is always supposed to be meaningful, but he didn't understand the extraordinary significance at play. There weren't any gifts for him to unwrap, a movie to see, or a party with cake, ice cream, and friends to attend. A breakfast of creamed chipped beef on toast was his birthday treat for turning seven years old. But he beamed nonetheless. I remember not feeling mad about that meal and no cake for later. His mom… our mom didn't have anything extra to give. She made miracles with less. Memories forged out of love served me well over the years.

It would be the last birthday meal she would make, and he didn't even know. How could he?

Come back tomorrow for the next installment of Ignite a Memory.

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