"Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That's when I will be truly dead - when I exist in no one's memory...” ― Irvin D. Yalom
when trying to remember those you have lost, it can be hard to get through all the fuzz that starts to build up. what used to be a clear image of them standing proudly, slowly turns into something more simple, less detailed.. a laugh, a smile, or even just a phrase. making the problem worse, is the inherent nature of memories: each time you try to access them, something will change. this impermanence is both a blessing and a curse, as we are able to reshape the bad experiences. letting details get lost and holes be created. however, even the good ones can be affected as well.
when my father passed away in 2017, the importance of memories became very clear to me. right after he was gone, i felt this huge sense of urgency to preserve anything and everything that reminded me of him. pictures, pins, clothes, war memorabilia, cassettes, cds... you name it. but as i was collecting all this stuff, i started to realize it was the things i couldn't touch that made him truly special. you can't see, or hear, a persons thoughts through a photo or trinket.
for example, a standout memory of my dad that these items were not able to capture, was how he could predict the outcome of any situation i was about to get into. as i would leave for the evening, he'd ask about my plans, and since we were close, i would share most of what i was planning. he would offer his two cents, and surprise surprise, the night would play out just as he predicted... it was infuriating.
now that i am older however, i can definitely see that he was trying to share his wisdom with me, keep me safe from doing all the dumb shit. but the exact words or experiences he pulled from... i can remember any of them, not a single one. what i can remember, is how they made me feel, or how they make me feel now. that is important and i know it. yet, not at least remembering some of the details is something that will forever feel like a punch in the chest.
a living record
it has almost been six years since my dad left, and in that time, its very apparent to me that my memories are not as sharp as they used to be. so when thinking that my kids might go through the same thing with me.. it again, feels terrible. i want them to know their granddad, know me, and know just how silly we could be. i know at my age and stage of life, getting to read and know how my father felt at a similar stage would have been everything to me. worth more than any material thing i could dream up.
So, if it isn't obvious already... this site is my attempt to offer something close to that. a space to capture thoughts and celebrate my family. while i'll mainly focus on my adventures, the heart of it beats for my kids. By order of age: Zoey, Asher, Ryder.. this is for you. i can't predict who you three will grow into, but if you're anything like me, then these feelings will eventually hit you as well. instead of scrambling to find all my stuff in a random drawer (which does exist 🤣), you will also have this to help round out your memory of me.
also, creating something like this will be hard. trying to capture life as i am also actively living it will be tough. i'm afraid of getting caught in a catch-22, as the more i try to record, the more i might miss out on.. there'll be days i might be too caught up in this, and days i may just forget about it all together.
let's just say that even if i get just a fraction of our lives down, that will be enough. it won't be perfect, as there will be errors, missed moments, and definitely some cringe-worthy entries. hopefully though, all my listed worries can be battled with a little collective help.
all together now
as i start picturing how this site will look one day in the future.. a thought keeps coming to mind, is my perspective the only one i want on this site? i mean.. mine is just one among many. even if this site is something only i end up messing with, i still want to share it, in it's entirety, with you.
to my family: this is an open invitation to join me in creating this living record. help me ensure that moments don't go unnoticed, especially the ones that mean something to you.. let's record them, and keep them forever. let's create a legacy our future generations will look fondly back on, no matter how goofy we ended up being with it.
i hope i haven't paralyzed anybody with the notion that they need to be actively recording everything that happens 🙃 because that is definitely NOT what i am saying.. let dad worry about this thing. but, if you find yourself wanting to remember a moment, phrase, or idea... feel free to share them here. nothing is too small or unimportant. i promise.
in the end, i hope this creates a deeper connection between us all. our little place in the world that we can all access and talk to each other. a safe place. a home away from home. i love you, Zoey. i love you, Asher. i love you, Ryder, and i especially love you, Brooke. thank you for always being patient and loving me through it all.