As featured in North Hawaii News November, 2016
Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could go back in time and see a loved one in the phase of their lives which we are currently experiencing? When we are young we think we are worlds apart from our parents and grandparents, yet as we grow up into their ages we gain an entirely different understanding of who they really were. Personally, I think it would be fascinating to see my mom at my age as well as hear her thoughts about personal victories and struggles.
Realizing that we are on a path which our own parents may have traveled can bring us closer to them through a new level of understanding. Witnessing life from their perspective clears up misconceptions that may have previously created division. Should parents or grandparents need our care in their later years, it’s important to recognize that they are still a complete person deserving consideration of their own life lessons. You do not want to wait until you are in their shoes before realizing just how much they desire that level of respect.
In the final transition, when a loved one passes, something we miss the most may be hearing their thoughts on life. This is when journal entries and video/voice recordings could be comforting and also become true treasures for future generations to experience. Advances in technology provide us with numerous ways to leave a memory trail that presents a fairly accurate picture of our life journey. Intentionally journaling to describe current experiences as they’re being lived out could help loved ones relate to us in unexpected ways.
There is often discomfort involved when speaking into a machine or writing out a story for future’s sake, and it can be hard to imagine that anyone would find it very interesting. If only we had a time machine to propel us forward 50 years and realize just how meaningful it would be for future generations to get a true sense of who we are and what our lives are like here and now.
With the holidays upon us, this is a time when special memories and traditions rush in and out of our lives. Instead of allowing the busyness to sweep us through the experience, how about we take the time to document some thoughts about these moments (beyond those hundreds of snapshots on our smartphones.) A sentimental video journal or handwritten expression of both current joys and future hopes will likely mean the world to loved ones down the road.
Ultimately, it’s important to enjoy the opportunity to share your story and appreciate those of your loved ones. Thank you for your kind words about enjoying these articles. It’s an honor to share lessons learned through my caregiving experience with members of our beautiful Big Island community. I hope you enjoy the holiday season and savor every gathering you participate in.