Memories can be both fun and hard - maybe even hurtful. Soetimes we do need the screaming so we can get to the laughter. I have had two memorial services this week with families getting together and sharing. It was interesting to observe who was sharing, how it got others to share and to see the tears and the laughter.
Some of the interesting stories were when at least two of the people, and sometimes more, had a different perspective of what happened. Once again it was also interesting to observe when the "older" one started a trend or when a younger one "got away" with something. There were also the a few stories where parents hadn't known what grandkids were allowed to do - "what happens at Grandma's stays at Grandma's." At which point it was good to hear the laughter.
One suggestion was made that makes a lot of sense. It would seem to be a good idea to be sharing the memories BEFORE the family is called together for the memorial service. It would be wonderful to have the memories, the sharing, the laughter and maybe even the tears while all the generations are able to do the sharing together. Something to think about for the next holiday celebration........
All of us have favorite foods - not just "comfort" but the favorite. All of us have foods we will NOT eat. Somehave food allergies and some have "restrictions." Dad was on a low salt diet which caused problems when I was the one cooking - instead of him. Dad did most of the cooking until he just couldn't stand for any length of time. His health was starting to, slowly, go down (which is easy to see now looking back.)
Meanwhile I was supposed to be doing the cooking. I never really learned how to cook. I could do a few basic things - roast in the oven with potatoes and carrots, the family hamburger and macaroni dish, and order take out. My idea of cookinng was microwave meals. There is a wide selection of microwave meals out there! So when Dad couldn't do the cooking anymore, and I had to start, we switched to microwave meals.
You guessed it! They have a lot of salt, sometimes listed with other names, in them. So I had to learn how to cook. Like I've said - sometimes you have to laugh or you start screaming. Dad encouraged me as I was learning. He even bought a crockpot and grill for me. I did NOT poison him and I am slowly getting better at cooking. So... let us laugh not scream!
How is your cooking?!
Sometimes we look back on the memories and we are either still laughing or we are laughing instead of screaming. But sometimes the memory is a quiet smile thinking about the time away, the break in the busy schedule and (or) the time to enjoy one of our favorite things. During this very hectic week, with meetings added into the regular busy (which is why this is a little late) schedule, just thinking of times "away" gives smiles.
Dad and I both loved history. We tried to go, regularly, to the Minnesota History Center. Dad contributed stories to the "Greatest Generation" Collection. When we were traveling, especially on a cruise, we would take the history excursions. There were a couple of trips to various historic sites near wherever we were living. Technically my "day off" is on Friday so we would take day trips so I could "get away" - of course my cell phone was always with me if there was an emergencey. Meanwhile Dad and I could enjoy learning, and seeing, the history.
These are special memories to enjoy with a "quiet" smile. Sometimes it is a quiet smile instead of the laughter that keeps us from screaming. What about you? What "quiet" memories do you have?
Sharing stories, and describing what happened, is a good way to have memories. My sisters were here, this last weekend, and we were out to eat with friends. These friends know, and accept, I am crazy but they had never met Dad. The stories started with my trying to do his "no one will help me" pitiful expression. My sisters immediately informed me I had a LOT of work to do before I came close to Dad's pitiful. It did, however, lead to Dad stories.
Our favorite, and all of us enjoyed it, is the story of the red socks. At my son's first wedding Dad had a part in the service. We were all in Ohio, from Minnesota, and Dad wore his vestments for the service. After the wedding, sitting at the reception, the red socks were visible. Mom came up, out of her chair, about went over the table at him, saying "I packed the suitcase! These were NOT in the suitcase! How did they get here!!?" Mom did NOT like Dad's red socks! Consequently this became our favorite story and, after Mom died, we all kept trying to find Dad red socks.
It is also a special memory for my son. When Dad died my son wanted several pairs of the red socks and wears them for special occasions. And, when my son remarried, he asked me to wear something red "in honor of Poppa." (His name for my Dad.) I wore Dad's red Hawaiian shirt.
So.... what memory are you still laughing about?