The other day I found this envelope in my mailbox. It was from my Daddy. (I’d stop right here and tell you how much I love Priority Mail envelopes, but I’ll save that for another day).
For his birthday in December, I begged and pleaded and whined with anyone who would listen to share stories, photos and memories of my dad and assembled it all into a book for him. I think he liked it… at least a little bit. So that inspired him to start writing down his memories. He’s been keeping me faithfully updated every week on his progress. When I spoke with him Sunday, he said he was mailing me his “mess” to take a look at. So when the envelope arrived the other day, I certainly wasn’t expecting his memories to be all typed and categorized.
He decided to call his story “The Adventures of a Gypsy.” When he and my mom were young and crazy and newly married, they moved something like 17 times in 13 years. I’m glad I wasn’t around for all that excitement. My brothers and sister got in on all that fun. By the time I arrived in the picture, they had firmly sunk their roots into the family farm where they lived for almost a decade before I was born, and still live today. The only move that has been made in the last 40 years was when they built a new house on the place and moved from the old farm house into the new one.
I have to tell you, when I sat down and started reading Daddy’s memories, I was surprised by all the stories I don’t remember ever hearing. He did a great job of providing details, dates, names, and he even added in pictures with descriptions. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have these memories, especially with Daddy’s handwritten notes. What little bit of a sense of humor I have, came from him and he was on a roll with his stories. I was laughing so hard, Captain Cavedweller stuck his nose out of his man cave to see what all the ruckus was about, then sat and laughed along with me.
Stories and memories are priceless. Truly they are. Especially when they come with photos like the one above attached. Goodness only knows what they were up to, but my dad would be the character on the right.
If you’ve thought about writing down your memories for your kids or grandkids, stop thinking about it and do it. They won’t care if you hand write them, type them, record them or put them on video. The important thing is to preserve them in some form.
I’m so glad my Daddy did.