This past Father's Day I gave my dad a special gift. Not as special as last year's gift (we told him we were expecting), but still very special!
We have a dvd converter at work and in the evenings I set up our home movies to be converted onto dvds. Sometimes I would get the chance to watch the footage, because it converts in real time. There was one movie in particular that brought tears to my eyes and had me walking in the door to hug my mama. Seriously, I walked in ignored everybody else and hugged her for 10 minutes straight and sobbed.
It was that good.
The movie was the first tape they ever recorded with their new camera. This was back in 1986, when I was 9 months old. The tape showed a skinny, happy new mama sliding into the room in her nightgown and socks telling the cameraman (my dad) that their baby girl wasn't awake yet for filming. The tape ends, then begins again with them talking over the manual without realizing the camera is recording.
Stops. Then begins again, this time with my mom leading the way to her nursery. She slowly opens the door, and there is me at 9 months standing up in my crib, grinning.
The joy my parents expressed in the video is now the same joy The Big Dawg and I feel when we grab Little Monkey from his crib. We have created similar videos and what a beautiful way to preserve family memories.
The tapes brought back all the wonderment of my childhood, something I now get to experience with our son all over again. In the videos, loved ones we have lost in the past come alive again, their voices filling the room, reminding us of their life and influence. To some, family movies are depressing, to me it shows a life lived, moments that should be preserved and cherished. What a joy and miracle it is to be a parent, to be in a family, to be loved. What an amazing experience and blessing.