I visited my dad on Saturday. Our visits tend to be short – not because we run out of things to say to each other (two writers talking? Never short of words!) but rather that he gets tired and I’m way sensitive to it, even when he’d rather I wasn’t. At 84, though, he’s allowed to get tired.
We did the usual things. Took a garden tour and liberated several Meyer lemons from his famous tree, and also got quite a few white grapefruit. I had printed a couple family photos, so I helped him put those into frames. And then came picture time.
He’s been having me go through boxes of photos, to see what I’d like to keep. I found several, and then I found the big box. Full of one book and several journals. My Grandmother Hazel’s journals. That just added to all the memories I’d collected that day.
With total permission, I lugged the box to my car and panted, doing so. (I’d added my photos from the batch I’d gone through earlier.) So many photos. So many memories.
Then I came across some photos of Scott. Here are two of my favorites.
And this one…
Carrying the box to my car, I strained under the load. It was a long, old fashioned cardboard file box, and it was full. My dad hovered as I carried it.
“You okay? You don’t need help? Looks heavy,” he said.
I smiled at him. “Memories carry weight,” I answered.
He nodded. “There must be at least fifty years of memories in there.” He was referring to his mother’s daily journals, I know. In those, she poured out everything but in such sparing details, which is a blog post for another day.
But as I loaded the box in the car, I noticed he stood a little taller. “You’re officially the family historian,” he said to me.
And it looked like a bit of weight had come off his shoulders.
Happy to help, Daddy. Any time.
Happy Monday, my friends. What memories do you carry, that have more weight than maybe you want?
How wonderful that you have those journals. We struggled to get our paternal grandmother to write up a family history and only got brief one. Our maternal grandma was way too much of a terse German farmer to bother with it. So nice that you have her life impressions as they happened.
I love this, I love the memories and the connections and the links to those who’ve gone before us and those who come after us to move it all forward into the future. Thank you for sharing.
It’s funny what people consider brave. I remember a few years ago I had quit my job and started my own business; something I had never done before. A marine friend of mine had just returned from Afghanistan and he called me brave. I just stared at him in disbelief.
Seeing your dad’s office again (especially the carpet that hasn’t changed 🙂 ) brings back memories of his true bravery. How he got laid off from his “real job” after having moved here less than a year earlier and decided to make a go of it as a writer. Supporting a family by penning magazine articles. Talk about performing with no safety net.
Ah, Leo. Daddy’s always been a closet renegade. By which I mean, I never knew he was being brave – he was just being Dad. You know? Sending love and hugs…
Christine! I loved this post. It reminds me so much of my family. There is so much stuck away in shoeboxes and folders. I don’t know what will happen to all of my family history. A few years ago, my dad did take the time to put together a picture book of my Grandfather which I cherish greatly. Having something organized with stories with it is a great way to begin building a history for the family. You have my mind running now… 🙂
Jason! So glad to see you here. Yeah, the family history – what to do with it all? It’s definitely carrying weight on me, I can tell you that. Cheers hon!