When I was twenty-five, my dad disappeared from my life. It felt like that. It felt intentional, even though, he died in the garage of our family home from a cardiac arrest/stroke. It wasn’t as if he planned it, but somehow it felt that way.
There wasn’t a chance for me to say good-bye, or to even have a conversation about what he meant to me in my life. There wasn’t a chance to say anything at all. I couldn’t ask him questions like: “What was your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?” “What did you love doing when you were my age?” “What did it mean to you when you become a dad?”
I didn’t get a chance to introduce him to my beautiful daughters either, nor did they get the chance to meet my larger-than- life dad. I could show them the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” but even that, while hitting all the right notes, still seemed like a poor substitute. I wish I had thought about this enough to have prepared for the time when he wouldn’t be around. How I wish now that I had a videotape, a recording, something more real than faded photographs, and anecdotes from “back in the day.”
When I learned about StoryCorp and their app, (for more info click here. ) I was so excited to see how technology could be used to ease suffering like mine. The app is really simple to use. You simply interview a family member, friend, etc… with your own questions, or with questions that they have already prepared for you. You decide how long you want the interview to be, record the interview, and when you are finished, the app stores the interview in your library. You can even upload the recording to the Library of Congress. Then, you can access it at anytime.
I wish this program existed 25 years ago before my dad had passed, because then I would have the answers to the questions that I hadn’t thought to ask when he was sitting across from me at the kitchen table all those years ago. My daughters would hear first-hand his love of life, his gentleness, and his kindness toward others; AND I could visit with my dad whenever I need some Daddy Time. What a gift that would be!
Below is the TED talk that goes into a little more detail about this terrific organization.
On this Thanksgiving, maybe it is time for all of us to ask those questions that we have been wondering about before it is too late. If not for yourself, do it for those who will come after you. Just click here.
With love and gratitude.
Until next time,