"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lingering on Memory Lane

Hello, dear readers.
I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything, but it's not
because I've been doing nothing, but rather because the days have been full.
My daughter traveled a long way with my wee granddaughter for a visit
and we cherished every minute together.
Kathleen searches for acts of kindness to show her love for me--
she is very precious that way.

One project I've wanted to do is to transfer years' worth of videos onto DVD's.
Daunting, to say the least.
Well, she got me started and I've kept up the momentum.

The only way to do this transfer is by playing the video in real time,
meaning 6 hours per cassette.
I get drawn in to watching our family history as the hours roll on:
birthdays with balloons, cakes and candles,
holidays with the trimmings,
Christmas trees and stockings,
first days of school,
assorted pets,
leaving home for college,
musicals and concerts,
friends and neighbors
and sports events:
Track, swimming, baseball, cross-country, triathlons...

Here's the thing:
As I watch the events roll by on the TV,
I am transported back to the actual time and find myself
smiling, laughing, and even crying as I relive the moments.
The year could be 1996 or 1998--it doesn't matter.
I am once again a mother with 3 real characters for children, being goofy
in the garden, at the table, raking the lawn--making me laugh then and now.
What a blessing!!!
To demonstrate just how absorbed I get in these old family "movies",
I have watched HOURS of races-- in the pool, on the track,
or woodsy cross-country trails.
I hear myself screeching "Go! Go! Go!"
(Heavens, was I a "soccer mom" before the term was coined?)
Strange as it may seem to you (and it does to ME),
my heart beats faster and my hands grip the chair
as I watch my children compete.
My brain may know that this particular event happened over 15 years ago,
but still I hold my breath as Hillary flies over the hurdles on the track,
Kathleen dives into the pool off the blocks and Jonathan pitches strikes.
My mother's heart skips beats wanting each child to be successful
but also (and mostly) safe.
Those two facts are not mutually inclusive.

I ponder the direction these children's lives have gone.
The critical importance of running hard, swimming fast, pitching straight--
the medals and awards won...do these matter today at all?

I believe they do. That same effort
(and what amazing effort and work, as I view them now--whew!)
is still a part of them today. Perhaps not in the sports arena, but in the everyday
of who they are--in business, healthcare administration, and homemaking.
On the screen tonight, I viewed the faces of acute disappointment when the best of efforts did not result in the outcome they wanted, chests heaving from the physical demands.
I watched their disappointment turn into determination to push even yet harder the next time.
And I sit, alone in my living room, on the edge of my chair,
cheering and hoping that THIS time she will win!
I am astounded at the physical demands these children of mine put on their young bodies--pushing to the limits. Beyond reserves.
And I recognize the same determination and perseverance in each of them in 2012.
I am as proud of them today as when I sat in the bleachers or theater seats years ago.
Not for successes, but for efforts.
And I am thankful for these videos-
though the quality is often poor and the pictures blurry,
the images evoke strong memories that bring me great joy.
I love to laugh and these dear children of mine are giving me that gift-again!

If there are still DVD players around when I go into the nursing home,
you'll hear me laughing even then.


  1. What a great blog post. I cherish the memories A's well and am thankful for all our family is.

  2. I like your post and tribute to your children. It is very endearing ;-)