On any other day I would have ran quickly passed my mother to chase my shadow up the stairs in a race with myself. Not so on that day, as I had just returned from a fourteen day stay at the Columbia Memorial Hospital. My appendix had been removed, and the ache of the hypodermic needles of the time still lingered in my hips. Upon my release from the hospital, the surgeon told my mother that I was not to climb steps for at least a week.
I looked up at my mother standing on our marbled front stoop. I asked, "What are we going to do?" My mother, without a word, handed me her pocketbook and my brown-bag luggage. Before I knew what happened I was cradled in her arms like a baby. I was amazed at her physical strength. Even so, I had felt silly being held that way. I was still her child, even though in my young mind I was starting to scrape the beginnings of maturing.
My mother and I simultaneously smiled at one another as she transported me up to our third floor apartment. My task was to simply reach down and turn the doorknob once we were home.
No one else shared that memory in my life but my mother. It was yet another memory of her giving me love. Perhaps later that day she mentioned it to my sweet father, but it was solely our experience and only a story to all others.
My parents are gone but I still hold memory. I haven't children by choice. Who can I pass that memory to? There are my siblings children. Would it not be wonderful for them to know the strength and character of a their grandmother?
When I write experiences about my parents I want to see them again, talk with them, touch them. I want to share memories of my memories. Why had I never asked more questions before they died? What are any of us so caught up in, that we can not find the time to share what truly matters in our lives while we exist?
When members of your family die, what questions and curiosities will be left in your mind? Perhaps one of heritage or something as simple as learning your parents favorite season, their favorite relative, and why so. You can delve into deeper searches about understanding complexed or sensitive family issues.
Life goes on... or is it the memories? Death is more than a burial ceremony. Death begins an amazing trek inward for those left behind. Once the sorrow has soften to acceptance of loss, then there arises the questions you never knew you wanted answers for.
How can one be convinced that the changes of aging you see in your parents are also the changes of age taking place in yourself? Time is not a click of the remote control. It is not what the face of your watch reveals. Time is not even the rise and fall of the sun in your skies. Time does not exist for humans, only you exist... only life exists.
What will you want to know when your loved one is no longer in your presence? Begin your search while they are still here. This applies from elder to young, and young to elder. Find out who these people are. Ask questions now, while you can still see their grins when you arrive for a visit. Explore the now, while all of you still exist in life.