Sunday, September 27, 2009
Being with Family
Today I went to my hometown to spend some time with my dad and my brother and his family.
At my dad's house, we ate soup, watermelon and cornbread that I had brought for lunch. He showed me some old papers he had found: letters from my mother before they were married, programs from shows he saw when he was stationed in New York City during the war, postcards and memorabilia he had sent to his mother to keep for him. He showed me the announcement that was sent out when his father died (he was 13) and a church bulletin where his dad's name was listed in the "In Memory" section. There were single cuff links, the others lost to history. He gave me a cookbook that was from my grandmother's church, and his potato salad and pimento cheese recipes. As we talked, he made a container of the pimento cheese for me to take home.
Several weeks ago he had sent me a DVD he had made from old video tapes. It contained footage from 1989 and 1990 of my children and my nieces at the holidays and Tweetsie Railroad. The first DVD he sent me was blank so he made me another one, and we sat on his bed and watched a little of it.
Then we went to my brother's house. His father-in-law died a few weeks ago, and they were celebrating his mother-in-law's 91st birthday. Her son took videos of her blowing out the candles, and afterward of her smiling warmly into the camera. My nieces were there too, which is always a real treat.
I was reminded of a couple of things today. One is the importance of taking movies of your children and other family members. Photographs are great, but nothing can improve on seeing people in motion and capturing their voices. All you parents and grandparents should go straightaway and buy The Birthday Interview and use it with the children in your life.
And as my dad and I watched the movies, I thought of a Brian Andreas card that says, "In the end, I think that I will like that we were sitting on the bed, talking & wondering where the time had gone."