This Christmas, our son gave his Father and me a unique gift with a request attached.
He gave us each a hand held recorder with small tapes.
His request was that we take time to record our verbal history.
He wants us to record our earliest memory, our childhood moments, teenage years and young adult years.
How we met, what we thought of one another when we started dating. Our engagement, wedding and memories of the pregnancies and births of each of our children.
He has heard all of these stories before but wanted each of us to record our memories in our own voices.
This personal history of our lives will be passed down to the future generations of our family.
A big request but a thoughtful one.
I have been walking back through my mind to my earliest memories. Where we lived and how I felt at the time.
It has been interesting to visit the places that have been tucked away in my mind for so long.
My earliest memory is of being 3 years old and finding a ring in the gutter in front of our apartment.
I remember being 4 years old and seeing Mother come home from the hospital with a new baby named, Peggy.
I don't recall all of the details but I do remember sketches from my early childhood days. They have made their home in my mind and remain there, waiting to be visited and remembered
Trying to remember my early memories made me wonder......
WHO ARE WE WITHOUT OUR MEMORIES?
My memories have made me who I am today. Even the bad memories shaped my life in ways that resurface from time to time.
So, who am I without my memories??????
I am the millions of people who suffer from, Alzheimer's disease, Pick's disease, dementia and other brain injuries.
Who am I.... if my memories are gone?
I am still me but without a past, present or future.
Our memories shape who we are and how we act and react today to different circumstances.
Peggy has no memory of her past, her present or plans for her future. No memories to tell her who she was and who she is today.
I feel that as her brother and sisters, we should record our unique memories of Peggy. The Peggy we knew as a child, teenager and young adult. We must record and pass this remembrances to her daughters and grandchild. If we don't....The Peggy they did not know as a child....will be forever lost to them.
My memories are precious to me and to lose them would be unimaginable.
But then, I thought....
If you don't Know that you don't Know....Memories have no meaning.
So, without my memories.......
I AM PEGGY!
Who would you be without your memories????
I Love You Today, Peggy!
I can say that I love you because I remember.
I will remember our shared time together until...I think no more and I....
am also a memory!
Generations of my family will come and go, live and love, laugh and cry, marry and have children, grow old and die and become memories themselves.
I hope that one day, one of my great, great, great grandchildren will find some tiny tapes in a dusty box. They will take them to be recorded on the listening machines of the day and they will hear my voice saying.....
My name is Mary Louise Ross Harris. I was born to Allen and Myrtice Ross in Fairfield, Alabama.
I am your great, great, great grandmother.
I want to share some of the memories of my life with each of you.
To all who are listening to this recording...I send my love from the generations before you were born.
My prayer, a prayer that flies over time, is that your lives are filled with love, joy and purpose. If they are not.....do what you must to fix it!
That is not a request but an order!
Here are some of the memories of my growing up years.......................
The fashions of the day, the cars, the world today and the news from around the world, my sisters and brother, my children and grandchildren. Their names are.....................
I want you to meet the love of my life, my husband, John. We were married in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. It was a warm, beautiful June day and..........................
Life is shorted than you realize at this time in your lives.
Live well, laugh often, love much!
My Mother and Daddy were unique, wonderful people who worked hard all of their lives..............
And as my Daddy used to say to the girls and boys of our family............
I love all of you, Today!
Your Great, Great, Great Grand Mother....Mary Louise
Let me tell you about my sister, Peggy!
Peggy was born when I was almost 4 years old. I remember..................