Time and Memories: By Ryan Robinson
Recently, as I get older, (even though I’m not even in my 20s yet!) it seems time goes by much faster; which can be good and bad at the same time. Memories can start jumbling together and bad memories can last a long time or only a few minutes. It seems now, after the passing of my grandma, Lucy Chalemin from Franklin Lakes, that I find it only fit to reflect upon my Grandma’s life and myself.
My Grandma, Lucy, was born in 1928 to my great-grandmother, or whom I called my Greatma. My Greatma had a great, yet horrible childhood. She grew up with a wealthy, large family in Armenia. Her father had a good job and they lived in a very large house. Then, one day, the Turks came to their area during a time called the Armenian Genocide. My Greatma said that they took her mother and father, killed some of her siblings right in front of her and left her there. She was very young so they probably thought she would die herself.
Thanks to some relatives in America, who paid for her passage, she grew up in the United States in Union City, NJ. During this time she got married and started a family; times were rough. It was during the Great Depression and my Greatma was lucky enough to have a job as a seamstress. She and her husband, Charles Hadjian, had two children – my Grandma and my Aunt Ruth – before he passed away at a very young age.
My Greatma barely paid the bills with having a job as a seamstress and the children, my Grandma and Aunt, had to deal with it. They shared the same room and many other belongings. Growing up for both of them was very different. My Grandma got married to Edmond Chalemin and had 3 kids, my mom, Jill, and my two uncles Mark and Glen who live in Texas, and my Aunt Ruth never married. I could go on and on with my Grandma and my Aunt, but I think you get the gist!
Anyways, on April 7, my Grandma passed away after having a cancerous brain tumor, battling it, then having it come back, battling it again, and then over time, she started to wear down and things went down hill. I was very sad to see her go because of so much time and memories I spent with her. Even though I have some memories from her original house in Maywood, I have many from when she lived in Franklin Lakes. I actually was the one who told her about The Horizons, the apartment complex she lived in for more than 5 years. We cooked together, baked together, she would sometimes drive me places and we’d have fun. Even when she had to get an aid to watch her, we still had a good time. We took trips to a park, we went in a mall and looked at stuff, we ate dinner together often, and the list goes on.
From her childhood growing up to the time she passed away, my Grandma was almost always fighting a battle. Whether it was dealing with the Depression, when her husband passed away, when she had cancer, or even everyday life, she was always battling something. She had lots of friends from Hawthorne Gospel Church, where she went to worship, and was very active there.
Because of Grandma’s recent passing, I have looked back on my life and thought about things that have happened to me and things that were memories I will never forget. Some were with Grandma, some were on vacations, some where even at my house, but they will never go away. Time goes by so fast that you have to cherish it or hate it’s speed. Getting older could be a hate part, but seeing your family, friends, relatives, are good parts about time. Enjoy it while you can, remember every moment, don’t feel shy to say things because you never may see them again. I still remember the last time I saw Grandma and I thought she was getting better. I remember the last time we shared a meal in her apartment and then we sat down and watched her favorite Fox News show.
I bet you have some memories of your own as well, and they are part of your life and they will never go away. So, whether you want to remember something or not, that experience is part of you and will be with you the rest of your life. Whether it was seeing an older family member for the last time, going to your first baseball game, or even seeing your kid planting a flower in the ground, you can never forget that. And hopefully, you will see that person again or relive that memory again in the future.
So please, the next time you think of a person, a memory, or even a bad experience, think of my Grandma Lucy. Think about your life and how you’ve lived it. Think about the times you had, are having, and will have in the future.
February 12, 1928 – 04/07/2009