My dad passed away somewhat suddenly, at the age of 79. Among the many heartfelt words I received from friends, co-workers, and acquaintances was something said by a former colleague of mine. Ed had lost his dad also (at a much younger age, though). In the email from Ed, among other things, was the the words "You'll always have the memories, Rich". I didn't really know the true meaning of his words at the time. As time has passed (it has been over six years since my dad's passing), I have become to know the meaning of the words you'll always have the memories.
You see - I have twelve brothers and sisters - yes, my mother and father raised thirteen children! There was no reality television series on the G family. No book. We were not part of any television commercials. My mother wasn't even interviewed by the local newspaper. We just lived our lives - we formed memories, one day at a time. Camping in New Hampshire. Trips to the Cape in the summer. Weekends at a family "cottage". Christmas morning. Birthdays, which always included a cake made by "Ma" (my mother). Memories. My dad working a second job so that he could take us on vacations. Ma taking us to see The Enchanted Village at Jordan Marsh in Boston. My mom's homemade mac n' cheese on Friday nights. Watching Walt Disney on Sunday nights in our pajamas. Memories.
The meaning of those words has become clear as Sarah and I start to form memorable experiences with our daughters Allie, Anna and Emily. Amidst the sometimes tiring, sometimes frustrating, sometimes crazy life of raising our daughters, Sarah and I can at least attempt to create lasting memories for them. That's one small thing we can do. Because, unlike toys, clothes, and other "things", memories live on.
I think the most important thing my wife Sarah's blog accomplishes is that the blog seals the memories away for our family. Visiting The Enchanted Village last weekend (see Sarah's post about our trip) sparked the idea for this blog post. I am grateful to have had a childhood filled with such great memories. I pray that Sarah and I are able to pass the gift of memories along to our girls. Every child deserves that much.