Have you ever noticed that there are distinct phases in one’s life? When you are in your twenties, it seems like you’re constantly receiving wedding invitations, going to bridal showers, and then baby showers. As you arrive in your forties, you are barraged with graduation announcements and parties. Now, as I get ready to close out my forties, I’ve noticed that more and more of my peers are experiencing the loss of their parents. Yesterday, I received word of this very thing.
It was a shock. There was no indication that a health problem even existed beyond the normal aches and pains as one ages. However, on this day, a massive heart attack struck a beloved father. He passed away quickly and shockingly.
The year had been unfolding rather normally for this family. The man who passed was fully enjoying retirement and making the most of the outdoor activities we enjoy during an Arizona winter. However, this day was not to be a normal day. It was a day unlike any other day and it will be a day remembered (sadly) by this family forever.
My heart goes out to my friend. I know what it is like to lose a father. His place cannot by filled by any other in our lives. I hate that cancer took my father but I am grateful that we had time at the very end to say everything that needed to be said. It’s wasn’t a shock although it was tremendously sad.
This friend knew about Remembered Well and what I do to preserve stories and memories. In fact, she loved the idea, and like so many others, intended to have a recording done of her parents…”someday.” “Someday” is a very fickle day. Life just has a way of marching on. Before you know it, it’s March of 2019. Soon spring will be here (my northern friends might have a hard time believing that!) and then the holidays and then we start a new year all over again. What will be different this year? What actions will you take to preserve the memories and stories of your loved ones? What about your own stories and memories?
You are never closer to your history than you are today. The stories of your youth will not become more vivid with time. Instead, details will fade. Now it’s true that you may have more time to devote to writing a memoir or commissioning a recording “in the future,” but you also risk that the future is taken from you by a surprising event that springs forth on what would have been an ordinary day, in an ordinary year. Don’t let “someday” keep you from doing what is best done “today.”
Wisdom is a gift. Save it today. Share it forever.
Let’s at least discuss what an oral history project might entail for you or your loved one this year. Perhaps it's time to invest in some peace of mind.