I kind of got a little behind (yes, already) so I'm combining yesterday and today in one post. It's okay to do this, by the way. I checked the official My Favourite Things rule book. Really, I did.
DAYS 3 & 4 - old home movies and the people in them
Last night after dinner and my mom and dad's we sat down to watch old home movies that we haven't seen in probably 16 years. Not since my grandmother died, in fact. My sister arranged to have all the old 8mm family movies my Mom shot in the 60s and 70s transferred to DVD just in time for Christmas.
And just in the nick of time too.
The ravages of time were starting to set in on the now ancient celluloid reels. The once vivid colours had slowly started to wash away and the crispness that I'm almost certain was once there has been reduced to soft edges and grainy blurs.
But there we are, in all our wonderfully young glory. The people of my memories. My grandparents - alive, vibrant and younger than my mom and dad are now by years. My mom and dad - not old and tired, but running, bending, lifting, kneeling and chasing after two toddlers. Kathy and me, two tiny little mites with wide brown eyes and big trusting smiles. Great aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, many now long gone. The house - the same house we sat in last night - with foreign furniture, strange lamps, wallpaper I'd long forgotten and impossibly tiny trees.
As I sat transfixed watching my early life play out in front of me on the screen, I realized that I have far more than I sometimes think I do. I'm ashamed to admit that I'd forgotten how rich my life has been - how much I've really had. I've been consumed with loss for what seems like forever, and somehow I allowed myself to forget the things I do have - that I've always had. And the proof is captured on those films.
Seeing the gentleness in my mother's touch and the love in my father's face brought me to my knees. Watching myself, at two on Christmas Eve, wrap my arms around my Grandfather's neck in the kind of hug only love knows how to give broke my heart. Seeing my face peek out from behind my sister's back and stare up at her with utter awe and devotion made my want to lay down and cry.
I've had so much. I've lost so much, but my God, I've been blessed.