My Father cherishes memories. He holds them close and does not let them go. He rehearses them, as my siblings and I well know from years of sitting across the dinner table from him, and still finds great joy in them, even if to us, they may seem at times overplayed.
As I’ve grown older, my appreciation for his stories has grown too. They have since become precious to me as well. It is because of this that I chose to surprise my Father with a set of photos capturing the places in which so many of his childhood memories took place.
As I set about driving down those old streets, I couldn’t help but rehearse my Father’s stories in my head. I could see now what made these places so special. An elementary school, a downtown theatre, a beautiful two-story house. All rich with warmth, with history, and with my Father’s voice.
In light of my Father’s love for his history, however, I realized how poorly I had cherished my own. In this day and age, with such a variety of ways to record one’s memories available, it has become easy to undervalue memory itself.
However, I was thankful for this revelation as I realized that while in the past I may not have remembered well, that it was not too late to start doing so. I am resolved; resolved to cherish that which should be cherished and to let go of that which is not worth holding onto. My Father held tight to what he valued most dearly, and now I can do the same.