But what if the memories suddenly start fading….or if the light doesn’t always come on any more?
Most of us, if we are fortunate, will have our parents live long enough that some (hopefully only a few) of their memories will start to blur. It’s not something they can help, and trust me, they are just as upset over it as we are. Maybe more. Because these are their memories. Memories of days before we were ever born; before we were ever even thought of, because they were still children at the time. Many of their stories take place before they even met the person they would share their life with, and eventually become the two parents that made us.
We all have memories that we don’t want to fade. Memories of growing up. Fun times and special dinners with family members and friends when we were children…when we had no idea what the world would bring when we grew up. We remember high school, our first love, our prom, our graduation, and other special events.
Our parents remember those things, too. If only I had known years ago how precious those thoughts and memories were. If only I had asked the questions then that I want to ask now. And can’t.
Unfortunately, life intervenes, and we don’t always do and ask the things we should.
As our parents age, unless they, and we, are very lucky, their memories do start to fade somewhat. Sometimes they recognize it and talk to us about it, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they try to avoid the subject and try to go on as if nothing is happening out of the ordinary.
Ask questions while you still can, and help your parents cherish their memories. Write down the answers, maybe in a special journal you’ve bought just for that particular purpose. One day you’re going to want to be able to remember those stories, just as your parents told them to you. Because as they relate those stories, if you close your eyes, you can almost see in your mind the pictures they are re-living through their words.
Artists paint pictures on a canvas for us to see with our eyes; writers are artists who paint with words and create pictures in our minds. Our parents should be the artists we most want to paint for us while they are still able to do so.
What pictures do you want your parents to paint for you? What pictures do you wish they’d painted for you before they left? Take those pictures still in your mind and remember them before it’s too late.