December 2016

A Gift of Memories -Reprinted from December 2013


When I was a child we walked two blocks to my cousins' house for Christmas dinner. There were aunts, uncles and grandparents but no great grandparents. We all lived in the same neighbourhood. Our moms didn't go out to work.

Today is different. Mom is in a personal care home and only knows who I am some of the time. My brother lives in BC. My son and three grandchildren live on the other side of the city. The last time my mom came to Christmas dinner, I drove across town to pick her up, helped her dress and looked after her at my son's home while helping to cook dinner. When the day was finally over I realized that I had spent almost no time with my own grandchildren.


Duck Pond 1949
I will see my mom on Christmas day but we will have a small family event at another time. Too many people and too many gifts are confusing and stressful for her. We usually have only one gift for her to open but we honour her by donating to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in her name as a way of carrying family memories from past generations to future generations of our family.
I have pictures of myself as a little girl feeding the ducks at the duck pond.
 I have pictures of my son as a little boy at the zoo. There are pictures of my grandchildren in the new children's' Nature Playground. Perhaps there will be pictures of their children with the polar bears.

My mom no longer has her memories. I carry hers and mine. These memories and new ones that we will build together are gifts I can pass on to my grandchildren. I can honour my mother (my past) by building the family memories of the future.

I hope all of you have a place that may pass your family's memories from yesterday to tomorrow.


No comments :

Post a Comment