Having the memory issues I do can make looking back difficult. Like a vampire. Conjuring up reflection can be nearly impossible. Yet there are a few things I remember about being sixteen.
The world is still such a great big place when you are sixteen but it feels small. Small enough to conquer. And generic enough to know everything. Or so we think.
When I was sixteen I broke up with my first boyfriend. We are still friends now. It was a bit rough when it happened. Clearly we all survived.
I got my beginner’s license and started driving lessons that year too. Hours in the car with my instructor Judy. A lovely lady in her late 50s. She had short hair because of a condition she had; every two years she had benign tumours removed from her brain.
I love driving. Love it. But I also still get quite car sick. If I sit in the back seat.
Had my wisdom teeth removed just before Christmas. Puked on my mom when I came to. I remember that. Bet she does too!
Only sixteen. Living the dream. On the edge of change. How big? HUGE. Life altering. And none of us knew.
I don’t remember much more about being sixteen. I do remember what happened the year after…
We went to visit relatives in Missouri. We drove. My parents, two of my brothers and me. In the van. For two days. And many kilometres.
I remember the thirst. The fatigue. Peeing at the side of the road. The highway. Outside of Chicago. I think. At night. Dad jokingly driving away…
I remember all of the blood tests. Urine tests. Lots of tests.
I wonder if I knew what was about to happen after turning seventeen what would I have differently at only sixteen.