“I’ll be back” is a well-known catch phrase used in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “The Terminator”. The character is denied access to a building and returns and basically demolishes it. The shock of this statement is that I said that exact phrase as a young girl and was so surprised to see it used in a movie with brute force. What and how does that phrase have anything to do with charm jewelry, is absolutely nothing. Which is my point exactly.

Here is my story;

When I was in grade four my family moved from the interior town of Kamloops, British Columbia to the coastal city of Vancouver. I didn’t want to move from my home. I was born in Kamloops B.C. and my parents told me it was 32 below Fahrenheit on the steps of the hospital the morning I was born. The Interior of B.C. boasts big skies and beautiful waterways of rivers. The climate is dry and hot in the summer and freezing cold with snow in the winter.

“Go play outside” as a kid meant bare feet and navigating through an open field of tumbleweed and thistle. “Go play outside” was a field of wild asparagus and the intense smell of freshness standing in that field. “Go play outside” was riding the neighbour’s horse bareback and getting thrown, kicked, bitten and stepped on.

“Laughter” was my Father getting mad when the palomino across the street would get away and come and stand in our carport and look in the kitchen window. “Laughter” also was the memory of putting on our ski boots, and hiking up the back hill and by the light of my Father’s car headlamps skiing at night, way before it was even a concept for the big resorts of today.

“Scary” was hearing a big noise in the carport and my Dad opening the kitchen door only to see a cougar standing with his paws on the storm window door looking at us all. The big cat was chasing ‘Snookums’ our orange kitty who had hid under the doorstep.
“Scary” was seeing a dead adult rattlesnake on the road that a car ran over only to see it start to move again.
“Scary” was being caught in a storm ‘out of the blue’ and knowing not to be outside in a electrical storm and riding my bicycle so fast home with our family dog, my legs being rubber by the time we landed in the carport.

The day I had to leave I did two things. I got a dime -and that was a lot of money to a kid in grade four back then – and I sat on the bottom step to the basement and I wedged it in the side of the staircase so the house would know that it wasn’t my idea to leave.

I then got on our neighbour’s horse “Spunky”, a welsh pony with blue eyes, a white mane and a mean bite, and headed up to the local bluff to look down at my valley. That’s when I said it.

“I’ll be back”.

I understood when the character in the Terminator says that line, for sure he would be back, because he was not leaving the people in the building he cared for behind.

That phrase “I’ll be back”, went on to have a career of cameo lines in several Arnold Schwarzenegger movies and even celebrity impression comedians would often recite it in a mock Austrian accent.

In my life movie I go back to that moment with that phrase, “I’ll be back”, every time. Because it is an empowering and life affirming memory, I invite it to stay and I am infused with the happiness of youth every time I hear it.

What is your happy childhood story? I would really be interested in hearing you tell it.

Photo: ‘color change’ PKM




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