Yesterday my brother-in-law flew in to visit us. He and my husband have not had lots of time to visit each other over the years and this visit ia wonderful thing. They are having a wonderful time sharing memories of childhood and information about the family. We don’t often take advantage of renewing memories and sharing information.
My mother and my aunt were the last two of their generation. When they died all their memories and information were gone. I often think of something that I wish I had asked when they were here.
Two years ago my best friend died taking with her the only connection to my childhood. I don’t think I realized what it would be like to lose that connection. It was so wonderful to be able to pick up the phone and say “remember when?” Now that link is gone.
This is not an unusual happening in life. If we are blessed enough to have a long life there will be many connections to our past that we will outlive. My grandmother lived to be 100 and I can remember her saying that there was no one left who remembered the world she grew up in. It is clear that it is a loss.
If you have elderly relatives take the time to record their memories. It doesn’t matter if they are written down or recorded. There are some online companies who will set up a line that can be called and memories recorded for posterity. What a wonderful idea. My daughter wrote down some of my grandmother’s stories and I am working on the stories my father told. He was a wonderful storyteller and I don’t want them forgotten.
Past history will disappear quickly and once gone it is gone forever. Take the time to keep those memories.
Yesterday I did something I have not done in a very long time. ….I visited my mother’s grave. Most of my close relatives are in a mausoleum type place in a local cemetery. I seldom visit because for me they are not there. Only the shell they inhabited is there. Nevertheless I do feel guilty for not going there to see that all is as is should be.
My mother was a loving, caring person and reached out to those around her. She was a tremendous blessing in my life and brought me up to love God and others.
Almost two years ago I lost my longtime friend. She was the last person who knew me as a child. Life feels different when that person is gone. You can’t call them and say “remember when.” I miss her very much and was blessed to be given some pieces of costume jewelry that were precious to her. Every time I wear one of those pieces I can feel her with me.
She was an amazing person whose deep faith was an inspiration. She had a strong sense of social justice and was always helping where she could. Lots of people loved her and she has been missed.
Her youngest child, a daughter, was born with multiple heart defects and struggled through her life. It was my joy to be there for her following the death of Deirdre (my friend), Sadly, I think the loss of her mother was just too much and she died six months later. I was with her. She also had a deep faith and I loved the fact that she asked to be buried with a tree. Her ashes were scattered in the hole and the tree planted with her. She will nourish that tree as it grows. What a wonderful understanding of God’s creation and the cycle of life.
Though these three (my mother, my friend, her daughter) are all gone their love and faith sustained me through the loss and reminds me still that God is loving and caring.
It is easy to be anxious in today’s world. There is plenty to be anxious about. Sometimes it is just easier to be an ostrich and hide my head in the sand. I really don’t like the news since it is so depressing. Yet every once in a while I hear or read something that sinks down inside and I end up ruminating on it. Recently I caught the edge of some news that has been churning inside for weeks. It had to do with important people in silicon valley hiring scientists/geneticists to find the answer to life eternal. Not as those of us as faith see it but as a scientific fact.
What a frightening thought. Should we really live forever? What would that be like? Like most people I am not anxious to die but I have serious concerns about us exploring this concept. Who would control whatever drugs or treatments to allow this? Would it be available to anyone or just a select few? Who would decide? There are so many ethical issues attached to this.
So many people with what we often see as enviable lives are not truly happy. There is much drug abuse, treatment for depression and suicide and unhappy lives among our rich and famous. Would life become boring? How about population control. All of this is overwhelming.
Somehow our world with its dangers and problems may be the world we should live in. I think learning to live with my anxieties is better.