2019 · Family · Memories

How do you hold on to memories?

I have a terrible memory. It’s funny, for some things, I can remember clear as day, stupid details like the specific outfit I was wearing on a day that barely matters. Other times, I desperately try to remember all the details of my wedding day as it fades further and further away every year.  That’s why one of my big goals for 2019 is to be a better memory keeper. My goal is to catch up on creating photo books, organize all my digital photos so they are together in one place and labeled by folder, and maybe most importantly, start collecting memories from both sets of grandparents so that I can pass these memories on to Dashel and Sailor, even when my memory fails me.

Over the Christmas dinner table, while we all gorged on stuffed shells, my mom and I started talking about all the old photos she had in her basement that she wanted to go through. We started reminiscing and it made me think, God, I want to get this all down! So I forged a plan for 2019 that included periodic emails to my mom and dad, and to Steve’s parents with writing prompts for them to recall special memories in their own words. My plan will be to archive all these emails throughout the year and then be able to make a book of stories and memories as a keepsake.

In addition, while I was Christmas shopping, I came across this book of letters,  while it’s certainly a great idea for a gift, you really have to know your parents. Are they the kind of people that will sit down on their own time and write a long letter independently, without any prompting, and place it in the envelope, and remember to give it to you? No? Maybe your mom is like mine? Like, maybe, you asked her to write a letter to your son for his second birthday and she didn’t finish it until his third birthday and she still hasn’t printed it out to give to you- and he’s turning 4 in March… 😉 I love you, Mom. Needless to say, as adorable as this book of letters is, it’s not our family’s bag… so instead I’m going with the email approach. Although, what I did like about the book of letters is that it included some prompts that weren’t necessarily all about recalling memories. Some of the prompts were to write about their hopes and dreams for their grandchildren for the future, and what the best piece of advice anyone ever gave them was. I loved these additions and will probably add them to the emails as well.

My first prompt went out this week, and it was “Tell me about how you met Mom/ Dad.” The responses were great. They made me smile to myself as I heard my parent’s voices in my head speaking the words. They were also very in tune with who my parents are as people, my mom’s was short and sweet, and a little fuzzy on the details. My dad waxed poetic and set the scene by mentioning signs of the times like Vietnam and hippies being the back drop of their first encounter. The other cool thing that happened was that is sparked a fun conversation between my folks while they reminisced together after writing their emails. And isn’t that what it’s all about after all, sharing our memories with our family to feel more connected- that’s my hope for the future anyway.

(I’ve also decided it would probably be a good idea to answer the prompts myself, and maybe have Steve write about them too so we can keep track of our memories and add them for Dash and Sai too.)  The above photos are two of my favorite of my mom and dad. Look how happy and in love they look, and how well rested! These were obviously taken before they had my sisters and I….

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