18 Feb 2016 Memories and nostalgia
by Brittany Gilbert
At the beginning of January, I almost lost my Mamaw. The doctors were certain that she wouldn’t make it if they took her off life support, and my family was devastated. Perhaps the most devastating part for me was the thought that my children would never know my grandparents the way I do.
Preparing for such a huge loss had me taking a trip down memory lane. I wrote out all of my favorite memories of my Mamaw to preserve them so I could tell them to my kids when they are older.
Thankfully, a miracle happened and my Mamaw is still with us, but the reality is still there. I want to create moments that my children will look back on with affection. I want them to know about the family that loves them so much, even if they are far away or have passed. It’s my responsibility to create nostalgia where it might not have been.
Most of our family lives at least a few hours from us. We don’t even see most of our family except for once or twice a year. So when our oldest child was a baby, we purchased a soft plastic baby photo album that we could put pictures of family members in for him to enjoy. As we were playing, we would look through the pictures and point out who it was and talk about them.
As they get older, we use the same concept, but adjusted. We create a photo book every year with the previous year’s highlights. We love looking through our yearbook with fond memories.
Technology has been so good for us when it comes to keeping in touch with family. When my Mamaw was in the hospital, we were able to FaceTime with her, and it meant so much to all of us to feel near at a time when we couldn’t physically be with her. Important moments and good news have been shared via FaceTime or Skype when normally we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see the looks on their faces and vice versa. My husband’s dad works in another state and has missed important events, but thanks to technology, he’s been able to watch in real time.
Consider how you spend your time as a family and create fun memories. Donut dates, movie nights and family game time are just a few of the things our kids ask for because they enjoy the memories we’ve made.
Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have two sons and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at [email protected].