Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Video your mum

I took a video of my mum in conversation with me about ten years ago when she was ninety. She did not have senile dementia at that stage.I did not do it for me or her, but for the two or three generations to follow my children. It wasn't really like an interview, but just a conversation of the things we had in common. The salient events of one's life are obtainable without a video deposition, but the character of the person, how they looked, spoke, gestured,laughed and pondered are not available in print or a static photo. I envision today that my great grandchildren, who will never know her, will get an inkling of, not just who they are, but a scintilla of, how they are, what they are. It's all very well to say, "I am an individual and I am what I am because of my own efforts ", but we are also a link in the great chain of continuity. An old grandmother says," Little Mary has my mother's nose. She is her spitting image!" What spit has to do with it I do not know, but I do know that though physical characteristics are handed down, much more is handed down in terms of manner of communication, body language, thinking and expression that is not available without recording it. It only really becomes important to the succeeding generations as they age, because life is like that. The time to do this record becomes urgent before you realize it. I missed the opportunity with my dad. He had the prescience to write his life story in old age but a recitation of the facts is not a holistic expression of the person. Your great grandchildren deserve such a blessing, to express some indication of HOW they are.

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