RECENTLY, as I scanned into my old Word files on the PC, I again came across a genealogy chart my father had requested me to make many years ago, just after our mom had passed away.
Clearly, what I came up with was a much-shorter list which I narrated to him then. As it happened, when it was sadly his time to move on, the roster had already grown with a few more grandchildren and greats.
My mom and papa were now blessed with twenty nephews, nieces, grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. I imagine, had they still been alive today, all our family get-togethers we held on Sundays would surely be grand affairs every time.
Not to brag (which I’m in a way already doing), but in the family alone (including our first cousins), I must have already watched at least 42 babies as they bloomed their way from tiny tot into teen and into adulthood.
How I now wish I had a photographic or even retentive memory because to my mind, each niece, nephew, and grandies, starting from their rugrat days growing up, had all been unique characters in themselves, with entertaining anecdotes and trivia which I would gladly share during our after-lunch huddles.
Already, I must’ve told them a few tales. Like how some of their first day at school had proceeded, plus other significant events in their young lives they must’ve already forgotten.
These days, as I now gaze down on our clan’s few-year-olds and newborns, I am reminded that compared to our nieces and nephews and a few grandchildren, these new batch will only be faint acquaintances to us later on, as we are to them.
They’ll all be growing up under the care of several generations below us, their uncles, aunt, and grandparents. There will even be a point in time when they would only point at us from old photographs and say, that’s grandpa and grandma and add, that’s all we know about them.
When my father was still alive, my partner had urged me to ask him about his youth so that we could share his growing-up days during World War II with the next generations. His mom, my grandma, when she was still with us, had been a talkative and colorful lot, and it was only from her that we knew about our father.
My departed mom, unlike her, had little to share. However, in his last years, he had only opened up a few times, and these had always been with my son, who luckily was able to write about papa’s life during the war in an article.
As with other families, only a few among grandchildren may know what their grandparents were like, except perhaps during their final years. A lot more about how alive they were and what lessons we could have from them still lay in shadows, like old photos lost in some forgotten album somewhere. While our later gens may see this as a need later on, we can only ask ourselves as we gaze at what’s before us, don’t you feel old yet?
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