It’s the little things that matter the most

The Memories Project has made me realize that it’s all of the small memories, the everyday happenings, that often have the most meaning in one’s life. I was reminded of this again last night when I was talking to my mom. She’s still lamenting that she will never get to sleep next to Dad again, and snuggle up to his warm body. Memories are so important, but recalling a particular Christmas or summer vacation can’t give my mom what she needs most right now, which is simple companionship, the warmth of another living human being.

It’s a good life lesson. As a society, we spend so much time and effort trying to catch all of these special moments, the birthdays, anniversaries and family vacations. We take photos, videos, blog about them, post stories on Facebook and updates on Twitter. And that’s not a bad thing. What I hear from other bloggers and what I’ve experienced myself is that we are missing vital pieces of our family’s story, whether it’s a photograph that has no date or names on the back of it, or a letter that’s missing a page. With all of the electronic archiving that goes on in our lives now, I’m guessing it will be virtually impossible to lose record of those big moments in your life.

I tried hard over the last year of my father’s life to remember the details of each awkward, cryptic conversation I had with him, because I feared each one might be the last. But now, what’s important to me is the memory of holding my Dad’s hand at the care center and later at the hospital, and feeling him squeeze back. No words were necessary to convey the feelings and emotions being exchanged.

Those smaller moments that you don’t feel are worth recording right now? That may be exactly what you end up missing down the road. So try to appreciate both the ordinary and special moments with your loved ones.


Filed under Memories

3 responses to “It’s the little things that matter the most

  1. I agree – the ordinary becomes the extraordinary, over time, and in our memories. Lovely.

  2. janedallaway

    Having been working on rebuilding Mum’s storyline for the past 6 or so months I now disagree about the “With all of the electronic archiving that goes on in our lives now, I’m guessing it will be virtually impossible to lose record of those big moments in your life” bit. So much of our “data” is stored in other peoples databases – be it twitter, Facebook, Flickr or somewhere else. We aren’t guaranteed to be able to get it back in a few years time, never mind in another 25 years. And if we can get at the prime data – i.e. the photo, will be able go get at the comments, or annotations? (I have a friend who has twins and in the baby photos on flickr she has noted which twin is which via the annotations feature). I think it is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that all digital data will be easily accessible. I’m not sure it will be. I still think keeping your own records and sets of data is the best way to ensure that these exist into the future.

    Anyway, enough for now (this is a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past few months), I agree with you that the ordinary moments are just as special as the “last time” moments. For me, Mum can no longer communicate, so the ability to record the “last time” is long gone. I’m rebuilding her storyline to give her carers a sense of the person within, and it’s doing the same for me.

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