One of my favorite poems of all time “Elegy in a church yard.” I was thinking yesterday of the people I’ve known and have lost in the course of my life. I guess it isn’t fair to say I’ve lost them. I know where they are. They have moved beyond this physical plain to whatever is next. But from time to time I think about them. For example my friend Ned. He and I were the first people on the FutureCare helpdesk. There were three people on the helpdesk but our senior engineer didn’t ever take calls. Even escalations. He just sat there week after week regardless of the call volume and worked on the horrible access application he wrote for us to use as helpdesk software. But Ned and I didn’t care. We had a blast. It was devastating when they laid Ned off. My first exposure to a layoff. It was just 3 years later that Leukemia took Ned as well my first adult exposure to losing a friend.
There were friends gone suddenly who passed away from accidents or were lost quickly to disease. There were those I knew who died over the course of months.
I carry a piece of each of them. Some I knew well and felt as if they were torn from me. Some I knew but not well but knew. Their passing making me sad. The moments are all contained in my favorite line of poetry (although only one of my favorite poems) by Dylan Thomas. I so love that poem I named my dog after the poet. That line being “Do not go gentle into that good night. rage, rage against the passing of the light.”
Don’t let it slide away from you.
All of this to bring things back to where I want them to be. Start a family history project. Use the Carpenters song (don’t worry if its not good enough) and the line from the Dylan Thomas poem as inspiration. But start, those memories fade. Ned used to digitize sound. So every computer on the helpdesk would no longer have errors chimes. They all had Ren and Stimpy sounds instead. Or the Mac when it couldn’t start would play the three stooges “I’m trying to think and nothing happens.” Remember those moments. Capture the images you have in a box in your closet. Scan them and then share them with the world.
We have a vehicle now, this blogosphere that allows us to share those moments with the future. Someday people reading this will wonder why English and why bad English at that. Why would someone stop and record the moments of their life on a foreign platform. Why not just replay the video from the recorder that was turned on as they burst forth whole into this world. Start your family history project. There are moments you need to write down and share with the pictures that showed those moments.
No one is an island. We are all but pieces of the continent rolling ever towards the sea to paraphrase from Milton. The bell ever waiting will toll eventually for everyone. So capture those memories and share them with the world. It will make the painful reality of loss less. But more importantly it shows those who are around you that you care about them beyond what they imagined.
Start a Family history project!!!!!!!!