Do you have precious memories from your childhood?

Those of us in our 80s and 90s can look back in our lives at many memories. When you’ve lived that long, you accumulate tons of memories. For several days, as I sit and think, I am amazed to remember what happened to me before kindergarten. I have images in my mind of the way we dressed, the remarks people made, and the thoughts I had.

At this age, I’m just fascinated by how my mind has worked for those 86 years. Many of these memories are filled with joy, but of course, as life has difficulties, I also remember the bad times.

Let’s start in 1941. I was in kindergarten and my teacher was Miss Wilkins, who was strict but kind. If you look on the calendar, you will see that December 7, 1941 was a Sunday. It was the start of World War II when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. This Sunday evening, our family attended a pre-Christmas church service. That evening when we arrived home, we suddenly heard the news on the radio. My parents were upset and I wondered what it all meant.

The next day, Monday, I was sitting in my kindergarten class and Miss Wilkins had the New York Times open in her lap. She then told us, very seriously, that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor and that President Roosevelt had declared war on Japan. I remember how our class of 5 and 6 year olds sat quietly while they read the news. I will never forget this moment. War? What did this mean for us in Ridgefield Park, NJ? Guns roaring in our streets? Enemy bombers sailing through the sky?

As war in Europe and Japan became a reality, our Roosevelt school programmed surprise alarms when each class had to go down to the basement, kneel on the cold cement floor and cover their heads with our arms for us. protect if and when we face bombardment. It was scary, but we obeyed. Then, on my way home from school, I would look up at the sky in search of enemy bombers. But I remember coming home and in my house, I felt safe and my worries were gone. My home was filled with love and it protected me.

A wonderful memory happened in 1950. I remember thinking that 1950 was a wonderful date to finish eighth grade. A year that marked half a century. In June 1950, at my elementary school, all eight classes gathered in the auditorium for a special assembly in honor of our graduating class of eighth grade in 1950. It was an exciting day, knowing that some students would recognized for their high marks and special achievements. .

Our whole class was sitting there happy to have graduated, some of us glancing at our classmates wondering if a certain boy would invite us to the first high school dance. We were all pretty excited. The principal of Ridgefield Park High School, Mr. Shields, stood up and made an announcement. “This year, we are offering a new award. It’s “The Barbiere Award for Teenage Success” and the winner is Janet Bird!” I sat there and suddenly realized he had mispronounced my name. Mr. Shields said “Bird” instead of Baird.

Everyone in my class was laughing, but I got up in a daze and walked to the front of the auditorium where our family friend and neighbor, Walter Watson, handed me the official document of the price. Wow, what did that mean? I remembered that I had written a beautiful story of a spiritual vision that came to me when I was a young girl. In this vision, I was sitting in my back yard and as I looked up at the beautiful sky, I felt the presence of the Lord. Not fully understanding what was going on, I wrote it all down. Sitting there at that time, I experienced incredible peace and love. I believed that God spoke to me to tell me that he loved me. I remember looking up to the sky and feeling moved by this message. So I wrote about it. And here it was in 1950 and I entered this story in the contest. The judges made the decision and I was honored.

Do you have any particular memories? Think about it, then write down what you remember. Your memories will move someone who is much younger today. Memories are so special and so meaningful as our world moves faster and faster. The Lord has given you these memories. Don’t hide them. Share them and your life will be blessed.

– Community columnist Janet Baird Weisiger is a resident of Holland, residing in Vista Springs. Read his blog at

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