The museum is built using the actual front of the infamous Lorraine Motel where the assassination of Martin Luther King took place.
It was a beautiful day in Memphis and as we drove toward the location my nephew shared his views on the life of MLK. He is about 500 pages through the 700 page Pulitzer Prize winning biography "Bearing The Cross..." and is well spoken on the subject. He has visited MLK's church in Atlanta and childhood home. He found it fitting that as he neared the end of the book that he would stand so near to the spot where Martin's life ended as his martyrdom began.
We parked in the museum parking lot and walked to a spot just below the balcony where this famous black and white photo was taken. It was a somber experience. One that my nephew will always remember. I was glad to share the moment with him. Whenever he recalls the experience he'll think of me.
I walked alone up the hill next to the building from where the fatal shot was fired and snapped a few pictures.
One of the good consequences of my "situation" is that I've become more aware of memory building moments. Those little pieces of time when two people are sharing a common experience, but have profoundly different perspectives.
Like the time, as a lad of twelve, I helped my grandfather roof a tin storage shed. He probably would not recall even roofing the shed but I remember how he skillfully hammered the nails, how he carefully taught me how to safely handle the sheet metal, and how he smelled as we sat on the tailgate of his truck parked in the shade of a giant oak eating our well deserved lunch.
Trying to see the changes that are happening to me, both physically and emotionally, through the eyes of others is difficult. We are sharing a common experience but have profoundly different perspectives.
It sometimes helps to walk up the hill alone and look back.