Posted in The Hippo on October 22, 2015. Written by LNH's Executive Director, Steve Reno
Whether or not, I have taken precautions. For years, back to 1965, I have kept an almost daily journal. Several years ago, while driving our son to Logan Airport to catch a plane, I recalled some incidents from my life long before he was born. He asked many questions – some of them tough ones – but we laughed much. On my drive home alone, he called my cell: “Padre. Let’s get together sometime and have you read your journals to my sister and me. We’d rather hear it from you now than read them after you have gone.”
So, with that as salutary correction, I have started writing (about one a week) little two-three-page chapters about my life experiences: some from very early days, some about relatives and friends, stories from college days, some from courtship, and many from times with the kids as they grew up.
No; this isn’t an attempt to copy the theme of the film “Boyhood.” Instead, it is to capture, for example, what I most loved about the Thanksgiving dinners of my youth. In those days, we kids sat at a card table away from the Big Table. But after the meal was over and our “elders” had a glass or two of wine, we would come sit with them as they started telling stories and talking about the old days. Hearing how one’s family members reflected on their adventures can help one shape his or her values, In many traditional religious communities, such narratives are the “myths” – the foundational stories of their world. Although we might not reflect on it much, we all live in a context of stories. Myths are the stories of our beginnings. They tell how we came to be, who we are, and should be.
So, the short of it is this: we “elders” have a responsibility to tell the stories that will helped position ourselves and may help position our children. This isn’t “memory care” – at least not for now, but it is “care of memories.”