I did a video history of my Father a few years before he died. I came back home that year with the intention of transferring the tapes but they stayed stored and forgotten until yesterday.
The tapes are a treasure because I can see and hear my daddy talk to me 10 years after his death.
I am in the process of transferring those memories from tape to DVD and spent most of the afternoon watching the forgotten tapes, laughing and crying.
I remember the week that I went to visit my daddy with my video camera in hand. I wanted to save his voice and his verbal history for my children and their children. At the time, I didn't realize how important those tapes would become. I lived in the same house with my dad for 18 years and visited after that but we never sat down and really talked about his life.
I set the video camera on the table in his kitchen that day and started the tape.I started and stopped the camera with my remote control. Daddy soon forgot the camera was rolling as I asked him about his first memories and his growing up years. I asked him about his father and grand father who died before I was born and his brothers and sisters. For some reason, I never knew that there were 12 children in his family.
I asked him about the first time that he saw my mother. His eyes filled with tears and he said that she was the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen. He remembered that she wore a blue dress with tiny pink flowers on it. He talked about her beautiful smile and blue eyes that danced with laughter and mischief.
I learned so much about my daddy from the tapes that I did that week so long ago.
I saw a side of him that he kept well hidden when I was growing up.
I asked him if he remembered the day that I was born, if he was disappointed that I was the 3rd girl. Why he named me Mary Louise. I asked if I looked like his mother who died before I was born. I asked what I was like as a baby and toddler.
So many questions that I had never taken the time to ask.
One of the last tapes that I reviewed made me tear up and smile at the same time.
There was Peggy, sitting at the kitchen table with Daddy. I heard her voice as she asked him questions and laughed. I watched as they interacted. I kept rewinding and rewinding the tape to see Peggy's smile and to see Daddy as they joked and laughed.
Two people that are gone from my life today.
Two people sitting at a kitchen table talking about their lives and remembering.
I kept rewinding the tape to hear their voices and see their faces.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could rewind our lives to a day in the past and live those moments again in the present.
That is not possible but I can see my daddy and hear his voice anytime that I want and I can also see and hear Peggy the way that I remember her.
If you have parents, grand parents that are still with you make sure you do a video history starting with their earliest memories.
I learned so much from the tapes that I did so long ago and with the maturity of today, I thought of more questions that I wished that I had asked like,
What was Christmas like when you were a child?
But I did ask and get answers to many questions.
I learned about a beautiful woman who was wearing a blue dress with tiny pink flowers on it in 1935.
For one afternoon in February 2006, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my daddy and Peggy again, laughing, talking and remembering.
It was a nice afternoon.
I Love You Today, Peggy!