I was a teenager the first time the All Blacks competed for the Rugby World Cup.
It was 1987 - I wouldn't take up the game for another year, and by and large other things dominated my interests in those days, though I couldn't tell you what they are now.
However, that image of captain David Kirk lifting the winners' trophy made a huge impression, one that perhaps endured because for so long it was a painful memory of opportunities lost.
Of 1991 when we lost in the semis to my generation's great rugby nemesis the Wallabies.
Of 1995 and that oh so heartbreaking final loss to hosts South Africa.
(They say catches win matches. Well, tries win the prize, and we scored none in either of those games).
Then came 1999. Despite our decade of loss hopes were high, and in pool play we enjoyed three good wins, including a 14-try romp against Italy.
I really wasn't ready for what came next. For many it was a "Where were you when" moment. The where? I was in the United Kingdom, far from home, in my East London flat.
The when - it was October 31 - Halloween - and it was a horror show. France beat us 43-31 - Christophe Lamaison scoring 28 of those 43.
It was a defining moment, the crushing of dreams, and of hope for years to come. So much so that in 2003 (when Australia knocked us out in the semis), and in 2007 (when our old amis gave us our worst World Cup result and we said au revoir in the quarterfinals), the disappointment was tempered by the fact we'd braced ourselves for such outcomes.
Yes, it was still painful, but we'd dared not dream of victory so soon after we'd suffered the nightmare of defeat.
But as 2011 rolled around and the tournament was back being played at its rightful home, we allowed a little cockiness to creep back in.
Surely Richie and the boys will do the trick on home turf.
But, sacré bleu, why did we have to face France in the final?
It was Labour Weekend, and labour they did, each side only managing one try and one successful kick. There was one point in it, but that one point was enough to raise the cup. Twenty-odd years of hurt finally over.
Four years later we did it again. Cockiness fully restored thank you.
Now, another four years on, we stand on the brink of what was once unthinkable - a fourth Rugby World Cup victory and the third in a row.
Step 1: Beat the Boks.
The dream is alive.