My greatest regret is that I didn’t take the camcorder from Daddy and put him in front of it for a few minutes, instead of allowing him to stay behind it. His voice brings such warmth to my heart…he had a warm, matter-of-fact way of speaking. Hearing his voice is one of the most wonderful sounds to hear. I wish I could see his face.
“I don’t know what your mother is doing, but she keeps looking younger.” What a beautiful thing to hear my daddy say, as we were all gathered in 1992 at my childhood home to open Christmas presents.
Looking back at old family videos is interesting. Seeing the interchange between my nephew, niece, and own son shows signs of the people they grew to be. Hearing the comments from adults as life was moving along is reassuring. We were kind to each other, loving and encouraging. I love seeing the sweet friendship that was already developing between my oldest son and oldest nephew. Now almost 23 and 25, they still get together occasionally and are friends as well as cousins.
I am moving the videos from VHS to DVD for preservation. Other than having to endure the sound of my own voice, it is one of the richest experiences I’ve had lately. Looking back to appreciate where we have been, where we are, and who we are. I am so grateful for family…though not always in agreement about this or that, we’ve continued to stay together.
Bernie, rolling in the floor with Chip, flying him as his tummy connected to Bernie’s feet. Their laughter is such a reminder of the easy times of life that we thought were stress-filled at times.
Chip opened the Mickey Mouse t-shirt and loved it, but when he opened the Barney t-shirt…he put it on immediately. Lee Ann held Parker most of the time when he was a baby–looking back, we know she was already pregnant with her third child, Hunter. Garrett was so special to me, and he still is. He helped me open presents, helped others open their presents and was happy for everyone else’s happy surprise. And Allie…she loved the noise it made when she ran up and down the sidewalk saying “Ahhhh,” grinned with pure joy when she swiped her brother’s football, and cried when she couldn’t fit into baby Parker’s car seat.
Oh, there he is. It was brief, but my brother held the camcorder while Daddy opened his gift. That face, lined with creases of wisdom and warmth; the eyes alive with humor and joy. I am so thankful for that frame of video.
And there is Mother, holding her fourth grandson, my second son, as he smiled at her and the camera. Mother, as she helped the birthday girl, Allie, find her chair and the camera to wave. Mother, who had her home invaded with all of our activity and her heart filled with so much love. Watching her sit with Chip as he learns to blow bubbles and she holds the bottle of liquid, helping him get more bubbles from the wand…simple joy and wonder.
The videos are all from my parents’ home, and seeing it fills me with emotion. As it comes to the end of tape, Daddy is filming the birds. If you follow much of my photos, you know I love birds. My parents instilled that in me–valuing the beauty and brilliance of the birds. When I watch the birds outside my own house, I think of my daddy and know that he must surely be flying with them to remind me of his presence. Or maybe it’s in the squirrel’s cleverness that I am most reminded of him…his never-ending pleasure with trying to outsmart them.
I hope that your parents have left wonderful lessons behind, even if some of them might have seemed painful at the time. Happy or sad, the memories helped us grow into the people we are today, and there is value in that. I am happy for the memories, the building blocks of my life.