Video taping your family: The best way to visit your past (if you want to)

Video taping your family: The best way to visit your past (if you want to)

Being Jewish, Christmas Day typically involves the standard stereotypical visit to a movie theater and a chinese restaurant. While we had planned to see a movie, we couldn’t agree on what. Hubby is convinced that certain movies are strictly chick flicks and my girls love a good romance. Having not viewed our old home movies in years, I suggested that we just spend the day in our PJ’s and do that instead. Everyone was game. (Of course we were going to my sister’s for dinner for Chinese food so we weren’t completely bucking the system).

Watching them when the girls were younger and most of the people in them were still alive was quite a different experience. This was truly a walk down memory lane; a chance to hear the voices of those people that we have lost. While that was a difficult part of the day, it felt so good to hear them again.

It’s amazing how much foreshadowing one sees in old movies. So much of the girls behaviors, likes and activities are things that they enjoyed throughout their adolescence. I got to see my younger girl play with a basketball for the first time. She was roughly two years old. She went on to play her entire life through high school, being varsity captain of her team. Seeing her pick up and try to dribble a ball for the first time was so heartwarming knowing the joy the game brought to her.

My girls live together now in the city. They are as close as two sisters could be. The movies showed them in so many situations caring for one another, playing together, laughing, smiling. When we brought number two home from the hospital, number one was always hovering over her, kissing her cheeks and the top of her head, feeding her her bottles. The look of almost idol worship on the face of number two towards her sister was priceless. She still has that look today.

Watching my husband and his relationship with the girls only goes to show why they adore and love him so now. Constantly playing with them, taping them for hours on end so as to not lose a moment of those fragile, quickly flying times. The family relationships that we have developed over the years were clearly evident in those films. What a wonderful feeling to watch how our family has evolved into what we are now.

My Mother, Mother in Law and brother in Law have all since passed away since the taping of these movies. I have a hard time looking at pictures of my Mom, I get so sad. Watching her playing with my girls and hearing her voice made me want to reach in and hold her, to have her see my girls now and all that they have become. My Mother in Law’s laughter, her West Virginia twang were all so amazing to hear after the silence of her passing five years ago. Watching my brother in law laugh and play with his son who was just a baby was so sweet to watch. My nephew is 21 now and misses his father intensely.

My father had throat surgery 2 years ago and his voice is completely different. Hearing his “original” voice was great; I miss that voice but at least he is still here to talk!

By the end of the afternoon we had all laughed til we were sick and cried many a tear. We all felt as though we had spent the day in a time machine, revisiting old holiday celebrations, many firsts for our girls and the joy of seeing and hearing our loved ones that have passed on. I thought to myself how fortunate I was to have a husband that insisted on taping every single thing the girls did. I never realized then how much I would appreciate those tapes now.

So if you don’t have a video camera, get out there and get one. Capture those moments, save those tapes. You will never regret it.

But don’t bring them out and bore your friends. You’re going to be the only ones who really enjoy them.


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