Although I know my title seems morbid, it isn’t meant to be. I couldn’t have been more than 10 when my father told me that we keep the generations before us alive by telling and retelling stories to our own children. He said for the most part, a person’s life is forgotten after two generations.
I was lucky to have three of my four grandparents until my early 30s. My son was 8 when his last great grandparent passed away. My son now has an 11-year-old son. Travis knows my mother, who is 89. He has no idea who my father is or any of my grandparents.
I am finding this sad and unfortunate. While reading an article today in People Magazine about Bindi Irwin, the daughter of Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter star), I mostly focused on what she said gave her the most amount of comfort through the most difficult of times, regarding the loss of her dad.
He wrote her many letters. He shared many stories, and he made videos for her and her brother. While he couldn’t have predicted his untimely death, his instinct to share his life with his children is a gift that will give them a piece of their father that they wouldn’t otherwise have. And, this they can also share with their children and grandchildren.
Next time you give a birthday gift or holiday gift to your children and grandchildren, why not also include a story about you. A story about your childhood. Give them some insight into what your dreams were. What you wanted to do with your life. What kind of kid you were.
I would give anything if I could sit down for even an hour and ask my grandmother about her life as a child. Our parents and grandparents are always asking about our lives and us. They listen to what we have to share. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, as adults, could have an opportunity to get to know them, by reading the stories they left us?
For most it is when we are older and less absorbed in our own lives that tend to reflect and realize just how precious time is. Do you agree?