Saturday, October 21, 2006
Today in an e-mail I received the following excerpt.
"Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on this new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life....
Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from it what you've put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!"
This little homily, together with the presence of four LARGE boxes of pictures that sit on the trunk at the end of the bed, has prompted me to consider the contents of the four LARGE boxes and the memories that we have accumulated there. Memories of
Husband and I, our family and our friends. For a number of years in the 60's and 70's we relied on a movie camera to record the passing days. Those memories are tucked away on film, in a box. All except a select few that we had transferred to VHS, and thence to a DVD. For the past few years we have used a digital camera, and there are a couple of thousand pictures of the Similkameen Valley, the Lost Garden, Sunsets and Sunrises, and family celebrations stored in our computers.
Well, what do you do about those thousands of pictures once you get to be an octogenarian, and you know that someone, somewhere, sometime is going to have to deal with all these memories. Husband's sister has tackled the job, year by year, and is creating extremely elegant snapshot albums recording each year's family gatherings, visits from friends and important events. I admire her work and the time, the love and the dilegence she has devoted to it. I realize, however, that the task is beyond me unless I wish to give up the garden, the weaving and all the other activities that fill our days now.
This is about the time that I realize I am not alone in enjoying rummaging through these abiding memories!! Husband is equally as sentimental as I, and far better at organizing a method for dealing with this problem than I could ever be. Given the 17 empty albums we have accumulated over the years, in hopes that at some point we will buckle down to the task or sorting pictures into family groups and passing them on to children, - and given the number of shoe boxes that are sitting around waiting to be used for sorting, - Surely the moment of truth has arrived, - the point of no return!!
To strengthen and support this project is the advance of winter, the need for Husband to find something to do that will favour his sciatica (now that the tractor is in decent repair).
I can see it now, - the happy hours spent in contemplation of times long gone, - precious friends who take their place either amongst the quick, or the dead. The stories associated with times and places, and the reminiscences of Christmases, small children, birthday parties, travel to well loved woods and fishing spots.
I pick up a handful of these pictures, and I am taken back to the time when we were young grandparents - and all the delightful times we enjoyed with young grandchildren.
Here is a picture of a distant cousin from the 1800's who is the spitting image of one of our granddaughters when she was the same age.
A picture from the 50's of Husband and young friends with a rogue bear they shot, with our oldest son looking on, wide-eyed.
One of dear friends, gathered together for New Year's Eve sometime in the early 90's; a picture of me that Husband carried with him when he was Overseas, together with a snap of some of his crew and Himself, on leave at the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells.
There are pictures of our grandparents and their family and friends - a few even of the generation that precedes them. All precious and worthy of good care, - all part and parcel of the memories that we have banked over the years, for just such a time as this.
At the end of this homily which arrived in my e-mail box were the following five simple rules to be happy.
Free your heart from hatred.
Free your mind from worries
All rules that reminded me how simple it all is, - this business of being happy!!!!!