I sat across the table from a friend, and she had been crying. "My sister just posted something on Facebook, and the words she used reminded me of Dad," she said. "I could almost hear his voice."
I'll bet everyone has had a moment like this. Whether someone has recently passed, or they've been gone for awhile. , those experiences of talking to them, of asking questions, and of seeing specific mannerisms or hearing stories are gone forever. Photos capture an image - a moment in time - and tape recordings, or even an old voice mail can capture some sound. But it's nothing like capturing a conversation: the look in someone's eyes, and the nuances of a voice that can be lost by background noise, or by age diminishing the quality of a tape recoding.
The special people in our lives are always gone too soon. The regrets of not having taken the time to record those stories and ask the questions that put a life in context are always difficult to live with.
Grandparents impart their wisdom to their decendants. Although we, in fact, have four natural grandparents, many of us have only had the opportunity to remember one, or maybe two. Grandparents have lived life's lessons and have much to share to younger and future generations.
The folks who are alive today, as grandparents, have seen and experiences remarkable chances in their life and times. They have witnessed perhaps more life and social change than almost any previous generation. What can we learn from how those changes were felt, and how they were seen through their eyes.?
History is not always learned from books. The insights of one who was there are invaluable. Unfortunately, many of us procrastinate in our efforts to capture those thoughts in someone's own words. Sometimes the saddest sentence of all starts with the words "If only..."
The movie Forest Gump told a story of one man whose life touched many of the significant events fromthe previous four decades. And when you come right down to it, that movie was indeed a series of remembrances.
Having an "interesting" life does not mean that you had to have been presentat an exciting world event. It instead be a description of a summer job, or a particular season of your life that touched you and shaped your thoughts. It could be the mamory of a first car, a close friendship, or a beloved pet.
I always hear folks say,"Why, I have nothing to talk about - nothing interesting has ever happened to me." and that is completely false. No one else has had the experiences that you have had. Those events and life moments are treasures to be shared to younger and future generations. Even the stories that happened years ago can have an impact on people today. Our own personal histories should be shared, because we have lived a history that no one else has ever seen.