Yesterday, while driving to the Office, we passed a vacant lot with a sign announcing that the Rainey Institute was planning a new building there. Is that the same one that's on 55th street now?
My son was surprised - "How did you know that?"
I took sewing lessons there evenings when I was in high school. I explained that my aunts and cousins also went there and the boys, including my cousin, played basketball downstairs. That's probably the reason we went.
He was amazed. Occasionally an old timer will appear on television and I'll say that's so and so, or the words to a song from way back will come to me and the kids will be surprised that I know them.
I remember being at a get together and the topic of old movies and songs came up. My brother and I sang all the words to "South of the Border." All the young mouths dropped open.
Do you ever get the feeling that your children believe you flew down here the day before they were born to prepare for their arrival? That your spouse thinks the day you met was your first day of life?
How could you have possibly had a life before them? What was your mission if not them? How did you survive?
That skinny girl in the photograph wasn't really you! What, you played volleyball? No way… yes, way! How did you manage without us?
A friend said her grandchild asked if she was lonely before without her? Another pointed out the school she went to and her granddaughter said; "I didn't know they had schools for grandmas. No wonder you bake so good."
When I mentioned having dogs the question arose as to who played with them and walked them…well me! We were here before so our parents would have someone to care
for while awaiting the big event of your birth.
I tell them how I came from another
Planet and that I am an alien. That probably doesn't help.
Grandpa couldn't have been a fireman - he's too old, and so it goes.
I knew a man who felt the world was a stage and he was the main character and would be judged on that performance. No he wasn't a nut and he had a very important job that he did well (of course he did. He was the main man and only real character - no pun intended.)
But really, isn't it hard to picture what it was like before us? We hear the stories and know they are true but the emotions are sometimes hard to come by.
We see photos, but was that really my great grand father? I want to bond but there is so much unreality. After all I never knew him.
I loved to sit and listen to my grandmother talk and tell about her past. She was so interesting.
Everyone has a story, and a past. Ever look up and down your street and wonder about the stories behind those doors?
We all become a part of someone else's story. Some people think we are responsible for the things that happened in other people's lives, years before we were born. Now that's just too much responsibility. I couldn't control them nor take credit for what they did just because I got here late. It's not my fault.
Today is what matters. If it matters to you that your heirs know all about your early years. start writing and documenting things now.
For me… take me as you see and know me now. As the saying goes "What you see is what you get."
How about You?
Have Feedback for Pat? Fill out the easy form below. You don't have to give any personal information.