I’ve moved again. Something I swore I’d not do at least for a few years. And yes, just like every time before I’ve had to haul my stuff and my mom’s stuff and my dad’s stuff and every other person who’s passed away in my family’s stuff.
I’m down to about 30 boxes of stuff. Many full of photos since my kids were born in the pre-digital camera age. And a huge box of VHS and 8MM tapes. It’s one thing to rifle through boxes of still photos and see my mom, my dad, my grandmother… and not get emotional because they are just photos and you see them every day. But when it comes to video – well, I’ve been carting around these tapes from no less than 3 different cameras, some for over 20 years and there is literally a lifetime of memories there.
It was crazy timing that I had the chance to send a few of the tapes to YesVideo to digitize. I knew right where all my tapes were because the same box had been moved 4 times in 4 years. I had no idea what the videos would be – but they had a date on them. 1998. That probably meant gymnastics since I recorded every meet. But what I saw when I got to see the digital copy online made me cry.
That’s putting it mildly – I was not only crying, I was hunched over in the fetal position bawling.
Because my mom was in the video and it was our first trip to Disney. The trip she couldn’t wait to take with her grandchildren and had talked about since the day Caroline was born. (the screengrab from the website isn’t the best, but it’s the awesomest). There was 1998 footage taped over most of it and so there is probably a VHS of the whole Disney trip (in one of the boxes) – but seeing this reminded me of how much I’d love to relive some of those days. And how much of it all I’d forgotten.
Seeing my mom holding Caroline. Seeing Caroline wiggle around in her arms. Seeing her smile the whole time. This was her dream.
Yes that’s Caroline almost age 3 and Derek about 9 months. That would be 1993 – 21 years ago – just a few frames peeking through a ton of gymnastics footage.
I lost my mom in 2001. And there is a lot of video of her. But that’s just it – it’s all on VHS and I haven’t seen it in years, so seeing her moving, her hugging, her waving and having fun brought forth a lot of very raw and very wonderful emotions.
And had me mad because I hadn’t done this sooner.
I shared the video with Maggie and we talked about our upcoming first trip to Disney with Beck – next February. The trip I’ve waited for since the day he was born. There will be video. And it will live in a place where I can enjoy it.
You know, people today say “put down the camera and enjoy the moment.” I do that sometimes, and I do enjoy that little bit of time, but it’s just enjoying that time in that moment. I’ll remember being there. I might remember something I saw or something I ate. But the things that you’d most like to burn into your brain may be lost.
Like this kiss. Caroline loving on Derek. I could watch that over and over.
My mom waiving with the kids. I’ve since watched that 20 times.
You can’t remember everything. So enjoy moments but capture them and for goodness sake take care of the videos – and find a way to enjoy them. I have not enjoyed carrying this box of videos to 3 different apartments and now a house – and I’m done moving it. I’m saving my money. It’s time to give the footage a more permanent residence.
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