I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook the other day and I stumbled across a post from my one of my cousins that grabbed my attention. She posted a picture of my grandparents from decades earlier. The picture featured my grandmother, with a casted arm, in a sling. This probably seems innocent and highly insignificant to most onlookers; however, I was very close to my grandparents. I thought I knew “everything” there was to know about them. But, I never recall hearing the story behind the cast. This is why we need to make preserving family memories a priority.
The Memory Investigation
So, I jumped on the curiosity bandwagon and set out on a family quest for answers.
But, more than that, we were desperately trying to connect the past to the present. We were searching for a meaningful connection that might possibly have been lost had she not stumbled on the picture and asked for insight into the situation.
My childhood was unique. I shared a home with my great grandparents for the first 8 years of my life, while also living just blocks away from my paternal grandparents. These bonds formed during my early years were precious and irreplaceable. They are among the most treasured blessings I have. I adored my grandparents. They were a vital part of my every day life as a child into adolescence and throughout my teenage years.
No matter how much time had passed, I never got “too old” or “too cool” for my grandparents. I may have outgrown other things, activities or even certain relationships, but the bond with my grandparents only deepened with time. It was truly a privilege knowing and loving them in such a special way. No other bond could compare.
The first 19 years of my life was beautifully molded and shaped by millions of mundane moments shared with my grandparents. They have become priceless memories that have been woven into the fabric of my being and seared into my heart for a lifetime.
Why is it Important to Invest Time Now in Preserving Family Memories?
Today, life is so fast paced and chaotic.
Please hear me when I say, I don’t write that lovingly.
There are so many people and things vying for our time and attention. Most of us are just trying to keep up and show up! But, how many of us can say we are truly present in and for the moments at hand?
My fear is that we are sleepwalking through the best and most meaningful moments of our own lives.
Before we know it, so much time has passed that even in our best attempt to recall those precious moments of significance, we find ourselves empty handed and overwhelmed by a sea of disappointment. We realize we never took the time to capture and preserve those precious moments!
As wives and moms, we are so busy living for the next moment and moving to the next thing, that we forget to take time to be right where our feet are planted.
We put off asking the questions that plague our mind because we just know there will be a better time to ask. We have become so good at convincing ourselves that we will “do it later,” when in reality, “later” never comes.
This one life is all we get and each moment is a unique gift. We each have a choice as to how we will respond to the gift of time and whether we will make preserving family memories a priority or a neglected pastime.
How Do We Make Preserving Family Memories a Priority?
Always Stay Curious.
Ask questions. Initiate conversations with the people you love. Be intentional with your curiosity.
Silly stories can often lead to significant findings.
We all have a deep desire to know and be known. By opening up the door to have these conversations, you are giving your loved one and yourself a precious gift. We are all a product of our past that proceeded us. By making meaningful links between the past and the present, we gain a deeper sense of who we are and where we came from. We acquire a greater understanding into the lives that helped shaped ours.
Seize the Moment to Ask Questions.
Don’t wait until tomorrow to ask what you can TODAY! None of us are guaranteed “later.” As time passes, memories fade, recall is skewed, and priceless moments and insights are potentially lost forever.
These snapshots in time will never occur again. If we don’t become vigilant and seize the opportunity to fully capture the event, hear the story, or ask the question, the memory will vanish. As a result, there is an irreplaceable gap in time that you will later, grow to regret.
Back to the mysterious photo of my grandmother…I bet you were wondering if I was ever going to circle back to it, right?
After some sleuth investigation, turns out this picture was taken in April 1976, when my grandmother was 56 years old. According to one of her dearest friends, who fortunately for us, is still living AND engaged on Facebook, we were given the “key” to unlock the mysterious story behind this perplexing picture that left my entire family scratching their heads.
To my surprise, I had a roller- skating grandma at 56 years old! How cool is that?
According to her girlfriend, they went to the local roller- skating rink as a last hurrah before my grandparents were to leave on a vacation to visit one of their sons and his family in Missouri. Unfortunately, the girl’s night out ended with a BANG…resulting in a broken arm, cast and sling.
As fun as this story is, it’s the precious insight gained that truly matters the most. Because of my cousin’s curiosity and willingness to share, we were able to learn something about our grandmother that we otherwise would never have known.
By staying curious and being intentional with our family time, we can deepen ties between the generations and preserve precious memories and insights that would otherwise be lost with time.
Just think, you too might have a roller- skating grandma or a ukulele playing great uncle in your family.
Commit to your own quest for generational curiosity today!