The night was just cool enough to warm by the fireplace in Mom’s den. I opened a couple of bottles of red. Chelsea unwound a hanger and grabbed fixin’s from the pantry for S’mores.
We gathered in chairs and on the couch and on the floor around the fireplace. Four generations of Keyser DNA in the room. I turned on the mic and pushed “record.” This was a project planned long ago and long overdue. An audio legacy to treasure for years to come.
Mom has stories. Lots of stories. We’ve heard them for years and years. One day, when mom is singing and dancing and meeting and socializing with every angel in the next space, we will have her journal of life…to listen to and to treasure here.
We all had questions for mom. Some prepared and others offered on the spot.
“What was it like to be a small child during the Great Depression?”
“Tell me about your hometown…Horton, Kansas.”
“How did you and Dad meet?”
“What are the biggest or most significant changes you have seen in your life?”
The show-stopper question came from Gabi. At a precious 7 years old she is wondering about the less obvious. “What do you remember about snow?” The greatest question ever. Out of the mouths of babes…
Each answer led to string of more stories. A string that wound from childhood through wars and relationships and places and people and souvenirs.
Four hours later, between the wine and the fire’s warmth and the late hour, eyes were getting heavy and our bodies needed rest from the holiday fair. As I sit and mix the audio and add photos and a little guitar music, I smile. I think of a few hours in generational proximity and what that will mean in years to come.
Soon, Chelsea will be on the other side of the planet serving those who have been forgotten and discarded. Logan will finish undergrad and enter service as a patriotic officer and a healer and go to some place to protect the liberties that allowed us to gather in the first place. My heroes.
I will be here, for now, chipping away at a system of care for patients and loved ones and hoping that when I am done that it is a little better for them.
Mom–she will be telling stories.
To my family…I love you all.