As I sit here and look at the wall in front of me I am warmed by the collage of pictures assembled of the places I traveled in 2007. My classmate and I traveled overseas to eight places in two months. The thought that struck me as funny, but not in a ” funny, ha, ha” sort of way,” is that the pictures are of the places I’ve seen, buildings, statues, old fortress, but no pictures of the people I saw along that journey. Well, there are a few but I choose not to hang them with this collage. What would a therapist say about that?
I also realize that if I dropped dead right this minute not one single picture would mean a thing to anyone but me, and my former classmate, who I haven’t heard from in ten years. I’ve come to realize that is the crux of our memory bank. It is the flashes of time in our life that tell little stories all tied together by this blob called our brain.
I can look at one picture and a ton of stories flows from each one. And I have over a thousand pictures from our adventures. I am sure you have heard the saying ” oh what a tangled web we weave” and it is true. Every single picture in front of me contains many stories weaved within those prints. No one else knows those stories but me, no one enjoys them as much as I do. When people have looked at the pictures they offer up their obligatory “oh ah huh!” but they don’t know the depth to which these pictures tie into my life story.
I’ve had adventures, gone places, but it is the history of the places that have touched my soul. To walk where people hundreds of years ago walked takes my breath away. To look at a beautiful church and know that others have worshiped there for centuries humbles me. And to see amazing paintings on the walls and ceilings that have embraced thousands over time almost brings me to my knees.
Why do the places mean so much? Because they are part of us, part of our history which shows the journey that our ancestors took to bring us to this place in this moment in time. We forget this as we move through our days. We get caught up in the irrelevant details of the mundane and forget our past. Forget our ancestors.
Sadly, I know very little of my genealogy. I have a crude diagram that I did many years ago with the help of my grandmother, but it only carries one side of the family up to a certain point. I know nothing of my father’s family. I think that is why so many of those websites have caught on so well. People want to know who they are, where they came from in this history of the world.
As a parent share as much of your history as you can with your children. Let them know who they came from. Tell them stories about your life while they are young, and while you can slow them down long enough to listen.
Now, I know that some families have people they would rather forget in their life. I do too, but they are still part of our history. I am who I am because of ALL that has gone before.
The other side of that is to create memories now, create a history with your youngsters. Turn off the computer, turn off the electronic devices, and turn to each other and have some fun together.
Creating a memory together is more important then any chore you need to get done. More important then any television show you might want to watch. Play a game with them, go for walks in nature and see what you can spot. There is lots out there to see. And laugh together. What kids remember is what we did with them, not what we gave to them. I can still remember sitting around the table playing board games and having a ball. Oh, there were bad times, but there were good times as well.
Tomorrow is my grand daughter’s birthday. I bought her several board games for us to play. I see her weekly and she loves to sit and play cards, dominoes, and pass the pig. She loves to set up the table with drinks for us along with some snacks. She likes to go for the long haul when it comes to playing with grammy. I am honored that she enjoys my company and picks me over the television and her dolls. I hope that when I am gone she will remember these days with happiness and love. I know that I will take them along with me whenever I go.
Just to make it clear for you I do have lots and lots of pictures of the people who have weaved in and out of my life. Those pictures too hold so many stories. So many memories. I have a basket on my coffee table full of family photos that we paw through every now and then. It is great fun. The grand kids especially love seeing the pictures of their parents in their younger days.
For me the internet is not a safe place to post pictures of children. I refuse to give predators the opportunity to drool over my beautiful grand children. Pictures of things are much safer. I have lots of pictures of things in nature, animals and our pets that get my point across when I am blogging. I don’t feel I need to put the kids our there for others to oggle. Sorry, don’t mean to offend anyone. The ones I am talking about know who they are.
So for today, or tomorrow, create a little history with your children. If you don’t have children do it with someone you enjoy being with. Go places, see the sights, eat some fruit, have a cup of coffee together, and “oh” have a great day.