Sunday, February 5, 2012

Documenting a Life's Story

Document! Document! As a medical professional, we were always told to document everything that occurred in a treatment session. Legally, "if it wasn't documented, it didn't happen". What if that were true in our lives? Our lives go through many stages over the course of time. Usually, we are really good at recording the first stages of life but often, our "documentation" tapers off in later years. My Dad really enjoyed recording family events with the video camera. He had one of those huge (and heavy) cameras, compared to today's cameras. I am so thankful for each and every moment he captured on camera. Because of his commitment to recording these memories, we can watch, at any moment, my precious grandparents and other loved ones who have gone on to heaven before us. Hearing their voices tell stories and sings songs of praise is a treasure. Last weekend, I spent hours remembering some precious moments by watching these tapes made by my Dad. The best part was hearing his voice sharing good times with his family. Hearing him laugh, tell his jokes, and enjoy time with his brothers, made me smile. I shed a tear or two but I was mostly reminded of good times and the special person he was, and for that I am very thankful. Just moments after the conclusion of my video trip down memory lane, I received word that my friend, Janice, had lost her husband. One of the first things that crossed my mind was how "well documented" Mark's life had been through Janice's commitment to photography and scrap booking. At a very personal funeral and memorial service, Mark's life was remembered in photo albums and a wonderful slide show that didn't end with his childhood - there were photos of him with family, friends, at all holidays, their wedding and much more - some fun, some serious - what precious moments captured with a simple snap of a photo. The organization of photos and videos can be time consuming but well worth the effort. I miss my Dad, and how comforting to know that I can still hear his voice on video. I am inspired to do a better job of documenting my life's story - to video more, photograph more and record more memories for my family. I need to get my VHS tapes converted to DVD so that they will last longer. I plan to watch more old videos and share them with my family. In this day and age of technology, there is no reason that we shouldn't be able record our life stories from beginning to end. Our children will be thankful! Just as I am for the memories my Dad preserved for me!

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