As a kid growing up in rural North Carolina, dreams were part of everyday life. The long summer days would involve talks about the days to come and how the future would partake with ourselves as we planned to change the world for the better. I wonder, do kids feel these same feelings today? I couldn’t wait to turn sixteen, then eighteen, and later to twenty-one. The purpose of aging back then was to allow me to shine in the light I was creating, or so I thought. Looking back, what I wouldn’t give to see a different date on the calendar again or to hear the voices chattering away in the old house. Any day would do; weekday chores or fun Friday nights. May-be a hot summer Saturday with all of the cousins visiting, goofing around, being kids with little money but enough ambition to share. What about those early Sunday mornings, hearing the birds outside my window and smelling fresh coffee brewing as Mom and Dad greet the day. How about a snowy day, no school, and reaching for those coats for some fun? We were going to change the world, and yet the world changed right before our eyes. Big plans were discussed almost daily, like who we would marry, what we would do for a living, how many children we would have, and how we would all travel different paths from anyone before us. As for the dreams, a few came true. But, the majority fell away as destiny would have it.
Speaking about all of these good memories brings up an important habit that I began many years ago. A wise person once said, “Taking the small everyday things for granted equals a lost past.” I can still remember my grandmother telling me to choose one day in my childhood and hold onto it. Remember the details, the tiniest of details, and think of them as the years roll by. This way, the innocence of long ago stays with you, and the memories of cherished loved ones never leave. I took grandmother’s advice, and some of those days, I picked special just for me. While others automatically stuck in my memory even when I tried to forget. “It’s the way of life,” said Grandma many times. I believe she was 100% right. It’s our beginning, our past, just as our ancestors held onto their beginnings and memories. All of these days deserve their rightful place in yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The essence of life beckons to be observed by everyone, not just a few. The perfect dream may never come true, but the genealogy fabric of our families is tightly woven, cherished, and never forgotten. Embrace the remarkable journey to the past, the present, and the future by choosing a day, one single day, to hold and remember always.