I know I have talked about his before, but this blog is about the journeys of my heart. So, I will once again share today’s heart journey with you.
You know, as we get older, there are people we begin to lose from our lives, and the older we get the more of them we lose. I don’t have too many in the generation above me left now. I have become the last generation, except for just a few. I just recently received a photo of my grandfather in his element, working as a contractor/builder. I loved seeing this for the first time! As I was putting my grandpa’s picture in the picture frame to hang in my bedroom, I realized that this is yet another reminder to me of another time. While enjoying the memory of the photo, I received a phone call about another cousin who passed away. There are have been many cousins who have left this earthly realm just recently. So much of my childhood memories were spent with our family and extended family. We did holidays together, potlucks, reunions, overnight stays on weekends, and camp outs at the beach or lake. We would ride bicycles in the summer time to meet up and play together. When one family needed something and the other had it, we shared. If one family was a bit short on groceries, they would be invited to dinner, or a package would appear on their door step. Many of us might remember hearing our parents or grandparents talk about the “old days.” I sometimes feel like I am now living the “old days”. I have also come to understand why they said the things they used to say. It enriches our lives when we understand more. Ask questions if they are still with you or ask people who may have known them, to share a story or memory or two. You can get to know them all over again!
This particular man, my cousin, was happy all the time. Always had a smile on his face, and would always find something to tease me about. He enjoyed making me blush. He was a ski instructor. I remember seeing him always wearing sweaters. I always thought that being a ski instructor was such a cool job to have. Kind of a status symbol to me since most men I knew as a child were blue-collar workers. He was a ski instructor! I mean, if you loved skiing, what better job could you have than to teach it, and be out doing what you love all the time! He also loved music and he could play a one and half-inch harmonica like it was a full size one. In later years, he carried it around his neck on a chain and would entertain anyone around, that wanted to listen to him, with a tune or two. Then he would ask, “How about that?”
My dad had three harmonicas. One of them was mini harmonica. He could also play that like it was his big harmonica. I was always amazed that such a sound could come from something so small! My older brother now keeps company with that little harmonica, and younger brother has his medium harmonica. Thinking these thoughts, reminds me that life is very short, and spending time with each other and sharing memories is so important. Time goes so fast! In the end, the memories we have and make, are what we have to share with OUR families. My cousin’s music and story will live on in the lives of his wife and family.
A harmonica is rather special instrument to me because my dad played. I have his harmonica and I take it out and play it as best I can. I wish I could truly play because it is something that reaches deep in my soul every time I take it out. I can remember times when dad played with this cousin, and other relatives, and oh what fun it was to listen and watch. You can see by the pictures that my dad taped and re-taped the box so that it would stay together to protect his harmonica. I treasure the box almost as much as I do the instrument because it just shows a little of my dad’s personality. I have shown this box to my grandson many times as a part of his treasure box of memories that we go through when he comes to see me. I try to add things all the time to that box so he has different stories to hear. Someday, that box will be his, and possibly the harmonica as well.
So…today I remind you to consider choosing a legacy for yourself that can be told in years to come by your family. Make memories today that will last a life time. Don’t let the music stop because loved ones are gone. Keep their song of life going. I think when we do, THAT is when we truly understand them and the life they lived. I think I know more of the heart of my parents and family now then I ever did! If this hasn’t been your experience to have a family unit like this, then my wish for you is that you will decide today to be a generation changer. You can always begin anew to set a legacy for yourself and your future. I pray you do.
My song of life still has some verses to add, how about you?
Walking the journey with you…