Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, June 30, 2017

Living in the Present, Still Cherishing Our Past

"Sunset over the Water" ©Mary Montague Sikes
For many years, people have come to our little town looking for old houses, buying and renovating them. They love the history attached to the buildings that trace back to the turn of the 20th Century, and earlier, and want to be part of it. Some of them enjoy sharing that history with the community and are willing to showcase their homes when various opportunities arise. That scenario is true in many little towns across our country.

Looking at the old homes started me thinking about the people who once lived in them and the ones who live there now. Those people were and are special. They possess memories we need to cherish. Years ago, people honored the elderly in our societies. The young looked up to them and valued their ideas and wishes.

The old will die out and their thoughts and memories will be lost. A few years ago, a friend of mine made a project of going to the homes of some of the elderly and recording her interviews with them. They were World War ll veterans, an early female pilot, fishermen from the rivers and bay, and many more. What a thoughtful and beautiful project.

Long ago, my mother's neighbor pointed out to me that the area would soon change, that most were elderly and soon would be gone. I was in disbelief at what she said. Of course, she was right. In the next several years, all the homes in the neighborhood were filled with young families, and the old had vanished.

As I look at the historical houses, I think of the need to live in the present and value everyone--young, old, and in-between. I remember to take a deep breath and enjoy every sunset. I remember we should live in the moment and strive to enjoy it.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Think of all the stories and the history that vanishes when someone dies. That was smart of your friend to do those interviews.

Birgit said...

I love this post because I often think of this and I commend your friend for interviewing people who lived a long life. You know, My mom has had an amazing life and she now lives in a long term care facility. There are so many there that now can not speak, sit in a wheelchair or walk up and down the halls. Some last quite a long time in the home and others, so short. I so would love to know their stories. One lady would scream and whoop all through dinner. It is part of the dementia but I found out, after she passed, that she took in children and was a foster mom and was quite beloved by them and the community. There was a TV show that I liked to watch called "If these walls could talk" about people who bought a home and found things between the walls or in the attic that spoke about what was going on in the past...such a great show....too bad it is not on any more.

Gina Gao said...

This is something that I enjoy doing -- talking to people to know their life stories. Thanks for sharing!