Friday, March 09, 2007

A Mother's Gift: A Cherished Cassette

Among the many blessings I receive from giving public talks about life legacies is the stories people tell me about their own family legacy experiences. Yesterday, after speaking on a panel of people who work with seniors in our community, a woman came up to me and shared a wonderful story about her mother.

She told me that her mother had made a cassette tape of songs she had created as she drove long-haul eighteen wheelers across the country. The cassette was a most cherished "legacy" that her daughter often listened to, especially at times when she felt like her memory of her mother's voice was fading. As she shared the titles of her mother's songs -- "Trucking with Grandma", "Bright Eyes" and others, her eye's teared up as she spoke.

She told me that, at the age of 50, her mother had gone to trucking school so she could drive eighteen-wheelers with her husband. "Being left at home after being newly married was not part of the deal!", her mother had said to her new husband. So, without hesitation she had packed up and moved across the country to go to school and begin her new career. Then for over 15 years, as a truck-driving couple, they traveled through every state in the U.S. and Canada before retiring. She loved her life on the road!

After her mother's death from cancer in her mid-70's, her daughter had CD's of the cassette made for other members of her family -- all of her brothers and sisters (seven of them) -- who loved being able to hear their mother's voice again (listening to her "songs from the road" . . . a mother's lasting gift to her children).

Have you recorded or videotaped yourself telling stories about your life . . . telling stories about ancestors that you're the last one in your family to remember . . . reciting your favorite poems . . . or singing your own songs? Chances are, whatever you choose to do, that tape will become your loved ones' most cherished legacies of your life after you're gone.
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