Last night, my father and I had a conversation about the longevity of many of our ancestors on his side of the family. A great, great aunt had lived to be 110 years old and to this day, credit is given to the natural spring that fed her property. My great, great grandmother lived to be in her 90’s and had never smoked, drank or swore a day in her life, so she said. Of course, she believed she got pregnant from kissing a boy and that you could get pregnant from swimming in a public pool too.
During the conversation, we were trying to remember what year my grandmother and grandfather died. I can’t remember the years exactly, but I can remember the skirt I wore to my grandmother’s funeral and that it was around the time I graduated from high school. I remember that I was pregnant with S.R. at my grandfather’s funeral, which was 1987. I can remember going to see my great grandmother in a nursing home the same year and that I wanted her to see S.R. when she was born. But Gramma never made it. She passed away without ever meeting her great, great grandbaby.
Our conversation made twists and turns, as most random conversations do. We ended up talking about how awesome it would be to live to be in our 100’s because we could tell some really tall tales! Everyone would be interested, except of course our great grandchildren, who would have better things to do. No one would dispute our stories because they weren’t around back then! Many of them would just say we were a french fry short of a happy meal.
Then something occurred to me.
If I live to be in my 100’s, would I even remember anything about my life? Would I remember enough to tell any kind of story at all? I’m 46 years old now, and I have a hard time remembering what we had for dinner last night! Odd how I can remember the skirt I wore to a funeral over 20 years ago but can’t even remember I have a load of clothes in the washer!
It has suddenly become very scary to grow old. I can’t imagine not having my memories. What about the memories of my children as they grew up, the good times, bad times and the memories of family and friends? What about the memories I will have of my grandson D.M.? My memories are sacred to me. What happens when I’m dead and gone? My memories will be gone too.
It’s clear to me that I must write everything down! I have to put all of my memories into written form so that my children and grandchildren have something to remember me by! I wish I would have kept up my childhood diary! Just think of the memories that would be in those!
So now, I have yet another thing on my To Do List. So many things left to do and not enough time to do them!