Friday, January 18, 2013

Weaving Threads

I have something I want to share with you.  This video is so very precious to me and I wrote this post several months ago  but had issues 
with the video link when I published it.
Unless you are a relative of mine or you have some 
other connection to my family,
I know the video won't mean nearly as much to you  as it does to me,but I feel the need to convey to you  the importance of such family treasures.
It seems I'm feeling quite sentimental here the last few days.
A very dear cousin sent to me a video of a 
family get-together that took place in 1960, 
five years before my birth.  
I have to tell you.
I bawled like a baby.
It opens with my Daddy, smiling and enjoying his birthday celebration
with all the folks he held most dear.
There are many of my aunts and uncles, most of them gone now.
The almost-five-year-old version of my brother 
(he was 10 when I was born)
sitting with an ultra thin, oh-so-young version of my Mom.
It was a pivotal moment for me, seeing these people in this way.
One of those uncles I don't recall ever meeting.
I'm sure I did as a very young child, perhaps even a toddler.
He and his family moved away and then he died rather unexpectedly when I was very young.
Until watching this video, he had been merely a handsome face
in a handful of still photos stored in a cardboard box at my Mom's house.
But this video, this treasure, allowed me to see him 
really LIVING.
Laughing, joking with his siblings, having fun.
It made him so much more real to me.
And most importantly to me, there was my Daddy.
Alive, young, vibrant and happy.
The same with all those aunts and uncles 
who are no longer with us.
It broke my heart...
but in a very good way.
I miss these folks and I wish they were still here.
I wish I could have realized at a much younger age
what a gift it is to have a large and loving extended family.
I wish I had spent more time in their company,
listened more intently to their stories,
paid a little more attention in general.
It's just a few threads in the fabric of my life,
a snippet of time that I'm sure my Uncle Bob (the man with the camera)
never imagined would mean so much
more than 50 years down the road.
 But what an impact it has had on me.
I hope that when you watch this
it will make you stop and think
the next time you have a chance to spend a few minutes
with an aunt or uncle or grandparent...
Enjoy it.
Savor it.
The older I get, the more important
those fond memories become.
When loved ones pass on,
those memories sustain you.
Those little threads we weave in the springs, summers and autumns of our lives create a warm cocoon that will keep us warm even in the coldest of winters.