Looking Back on Memories…How to Make Them Last

By Jodee Weiland

A while back, I went out to lunch with two of my sisters, Caryle and Jerilyn. Jerilyn is mentally handicapped, and Caryle and I take her to lunch on Sunday afternoons. She loves that, and we all look forward to this time spent together. Jerilyn’s perpetual innocence and ability to just blurt out whatever comes to mind at the moment, is both refreshing and sometimes humorous for all of us. Each time we get together, the things she will say to us bring back many fond memories!

While together today, we were talking about our time spent together with our parents and family growing up. We all feel very fortunate to have had the parents we did. One thing there was no shortage of in our family was love. Sometimes money was short, but never love. This was due in large part to our mother, who was a very classy lady, and our father, who was a very loving and humorous guy.

As we were reminiscing, I couldn’t help thinking about how I first learned to dance, even before my first ballet lesson. My parents were great dancers and known throughout the family for their legendary style on the floor, especially when ballroom dancing. Well, when I was very little, dad would pick me up and dance with me. I remember feeling like a princess flying on air as he danced with me in his arms. Looking back, I realized how very important memories are to all of us.

When I was a young child, families took pictures. Later, as a parent, I took pictures and videotaped special family moments, but I realize now that I did not do this nearly enough of this, even though I did take a lot of pictures. Young people today have even more ways to chronicle memories, but many make the same mistake I made. Yes, they post a lot of pictures on Facebook and other social media, but that’s not what I am talking about here.  Although I have pictures of my parents who are now gone, I wish I had more.  I wish I had chronicled their lives on videotape through conversations with them or interviews of some kind.

So while you have the time, think about putting together a video of just your parents, your children’s grandparents, talking about their childhood and their own parents. I think this is a great idea. They can talk about their lives and how they met and all their other memories. Later you can add to that any clips you may take of them, like dancing together at some family occasion or even just reading to their grandchildren. You won’t regret your decision to do this. In fact, you will probably be happy that you took the time to make these memories for yourself and your children. I really wish I had done more of this when I had the chance, but for me…for now…I still have my memories to look back on all the time.  And by the way, never forget to make a memory of all your special moments as well. As I used to tell my children repeatedly whenever we were doing something special together, “Make a memory!”  Enjoy!

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