Today marks 25 years since my Grampy passed away. Clarence R. Fernald. He was 70 years old, and I was 8.
Last night, my parents hosted a get together in his honor with my Grammy, her kids, all the grandkids and a great grandbaby on the way. We looked through old albums, his medals and badges and dogtags from his 30 years in the Army, through WWII. His passports. The man saw the world. His college yearbooks. His wedding portraits.
My grandmother brought over something so very incredible, that I had no idea existed..cassette tapes of our family, from 1978 to about 1985. It was incredible to hear. There are tapes of my sister and I playing, as little girls do, making rules for this and that. I heard 3 year old me call for my dog Orson..and tell my Grammy, "Orson's not a boy!!". I heard the softness in my Grampy's voice as he said my name. I had forgotten that sound.
I heard the voices of my mom and dad, who were then the age I am now. I heard the voices of my dad's parents, which I haven't heard for 7 years. I heard the voices of my great grandmothers. I heard some strong Maine accents and some quite funny little girl southern virginia ones. My mom then, she sounds like my sister now.
I am very very conscious of my role in the continuation of this amazing family of mine. Late into the night, my mother, sister and I were talking children. My sister and I, we are apprehensive and we no longer have the luxury of time. We talk about having children a lot.
My mom told us last night, that her mom asked her..will anyone care about your albums, your things? That broke my heart in two, right there. I know my grandmother wasn't asking it to be pointed or to be cruel. But I so very much want my mother to have a chance to be a grandmother. I'm just not sure I'm going to be a mother. And you can't have one without the other, can you?
It is deeply important, isn't it? Passing love and knowledge down through the generations. Last night, it was a reminder that life moves. And that you shouldn't spend too much time waiting for what you want. Now what?