Cherish your unexpected memories of loved ones

With Mother’s Day approaching and Father’s Day a month away, I am repeating a post from two years ago. Memories of loved ones have a way of popping up when you least expect them. Tissues may be needed.

I watched a poignant video where a young woman was presented with a birthday gift of a talking teddy bear. The bear had a prerecorded voice and she soon realized the voice was her father’s speaking to her using her name. It brought tears as her dad had passed away a year before.

This beautiful story made me think of two poignant movie scenes and a real story. The first movie scene is from “Peggy Sue got married.” Kathleen Turner played Peggy Sue, who went back in time to avoid marrying her boyfriend who eventually left her. The poignant scene occurs when she answers the phone at her mom and dad’s house and hears her grandmother’s voice, who had died years before her time travel occurred. It gives me chills to write this as she spoke to a departed loved one once again.

The other movie scene is from “Field of Dreams,” with Kevin Costner. After building a baseball field in his corn crop, the now deceased players of the Chicago White Sox, who had been banned for gambling, appear to play. But, the real reason he is inspired to build the field is his father comes to play as a young man and former ballplayer. When he asks his dad for a game of catch, it is a very emotional for me as I used to play catch with my father.

While these movies are dramatically poignant, we came across an old cassette tape of my father-in-law singing. Before he passed in 1997, he used to play guitar and sing in clubs, bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, church, senior living centers, etc. So, we just sat and listened to his crooning, as he performed old standards from the 1940 – 60s. It was a treat for my wife and me. One of my favorite memories is returning from New York at night, with him and my mother-in-law singing old songs like these while riding in the back seat.

Cherish your memories, especially when they unexpectedly pop up. Sometimes, all it takes is a prompt – a song, a movie clip, an old friend, or an old piece of clothing – to flush out the memories. Or, it could be prompted by a simple question about “do you remember….?” I grieved my favorite aunt’s death in a restaurant about two years after she died when my wife asked me one of those simple questions. Remember them well.

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20 thoughts on “Cherish your unexpected memories of loved ones

  1. Keith, this post brought tears to my eyes all the way through. I can so relate to those touching moments. That reminds me of a tape my grandfather (my hero) recorded by telling the family’s story. Have to dig it out now!

    • Erika, thanks for your comment and I am glad you were moved. Please do dig out the tape. It will be a nice memory lane. Where did your love of singing and music come from? Keith

      • I will! It is on my list for the weekend.
        Seriously. that is a question, my parents had been pondering all the time… lol. My Grandpa was not a musician or singer, but he sang with me or made music and played rhythms with sticks with me when I was little. When I was 10, my teacher who directed a choir began to support me and arranged that I could sing soli in our community and once he gave me a role in a play that choir performed. However, I wanted to become a singer since I was a little girl. I loved music and could basically play any instrument without taking lessons because I got how they worked (trumpet, violine, guitar, ….) which discouraged my father and sisters…lol. Of course, only basics. What I cannot do is playing the piano with both hands. My Grandpa always wanted me to learn how to play the piano. I never did. Who knows, perhaps the ground was laid by him.

      • Erika, thanks for sharing your musical childhood. My oldest son learned music in the band and can pick up many instruments and learn quickly how to make music out of them. I do not have such a gift, but I think he got it from my wife’s family and a recessive gene from my grandmother that must have passed me by. Keith

  2. What beautiful expressions of love in those movies and your own personal memorie Keith that is timeless no matter how many times you share it.
    Loved that scene in field of dreams!
    What a gift to hear that casset of your FIL!
    I’ve been having my dad recite all of his poems and speeches which he loves to do. Although sometimes I’ve heard them over a million times and we all roll our eyes, I know I will miss them and cherish this as well. Great share❣️💖

    • Thanks Cindy. Great idea on the taping of his poems. Have you ever thought of having one of the grandkids do an interview with him and record it? That would be good. Keith

  3. I think when you first posted this, I commented about coming across a phone message machine cassette tape with my mother’s voice on it (she had called for me and was leaving a message and having a chat with my husband). Listening to it brought tears to my eyes. I still have the tape and the machine I can play it on.

  4. Note to Readers: I loved my aunt because my mother loved her dearly. My aunt was younger than my mother, but she would take on anyone who was mean to my mother – think Scout from “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She died much too early in her fifties. One of my favorite things she said often was “This is the BEST thing I ever put in my mouth.”

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