Over the last week my family and I have been spending some time watching video recordings of us, made over twenty years ago. It’s truly amazing and priceless that we have this chance to view these little snap shots documenting our experiences that had been forgotten over the years. No doubt, things we probably would have never recalled had it not been for these tiny little almost extinct objects capturing some of the intimate details of our daily lives. Cherished memories that had been stored in a cardboard box and forgotten for over twenty years. As technology and life marched on, they became seemingly, just another part of the clutter. Luckily my in-laws had a video player that still works, and with the help of a conversion “gadget” bought on Amazon, we were brought face to face with hours upon hours of “this was your life” moments. Moments my kids had never revisited at an age for them to remember.
It’s clear that as much as we have changed physically over the years, in a lot of ways we are still the same. In the recordings of my kids, I recognized the personalities forming at those very tender ages. The hyperactive, the stubborn, the diligent, the ham, the creative, all there on full display. Twenty something years later it all makes perfect sense. Three young boys with different personalities, three separate individuals, now grown men all changed but, in many ways, still the same. The school assemblies, the birthday parties, the family get togethers, one thing for sure, back then, I was as much the entertainer as I am today. As for my husband and I, we were patient parents, at least as far as the tapes tell it, more patient than I remembered, and our lives were definitely not perfect, more imperfect than I cared to remember. But the bond and dedication to our family is still the same as I remembered.
Then there are the family members and friends who were once vibrant and active who have slowed considerably since then. Youthful skin, shiny hair and upright posture all replaced by traits of aging. But most are still here with us, and we still have our memories and time to make more, and for that we are thankful. Then there are those who are no longer with us. Some gone way too soon. It was especially good seeing my grandmother again and remembering her the way she was. Always full of life, surrounded by and enjoying the company of all our children. That’s one thing about memories, context is everything; it determines whether they are happy or sad memories. My husband made a comment about how our reactions to watching these videos might been very different had things not gone as well as they did with me five years ago and I thank God every day they did, and that I’m here to reminisce with them. Still, this is life, and I couldn’t help wondering what sentiments the viewers of these pieces of our memories will be feeling when viewed again another twenty years from now.