For the second (or is it third?) year in a row my post falls on Thanksgiving Day. I originally was going to post on things I am thankful for, traditions and holidays in general. However, Liane’s post, Carpe Diem - Again, struck a note with me. Why? Because I recently missed a great opportunity.
My mother is an excellent storyteller. I spent years sitting at her feet listening to her tell old folk stories animatedly. And though the stories were repetitive, I could listen to them over and over again. I had always dreamed of writing and publishing some of those old stories. Indeed I have written a few. But one of my other dreams was to preserve those stories as told by my mother in her dramatic fashion so that my kids could hear them.
For years I procrastinated. I blamed it on the distance. I haven’t lived in the same area as my mother since 1993. I waited to get a video recorder. I waited for when we were without the distraction of a million family members talking all at once. I waited…
Well my mother is now eighty-one years old and has survived a stroke and a heart attack. I decided it was time to get those stories. So for two weeks when she visited me, I got my video and audio recorder and I tried to get her to tell those old favorite stories with all the gusto that she used to when I was little. But there was a problem: my mother can no longer remember the stories. I had to prompt her and remind her of the stories. I knew there were many more than the few I remembered, but my mother was unable to recall them. I had waited much too long.
I can think of a few cliché’s to sum it up. Chief among them is “procrastination is the thief of time.” I am thankful that I got a few stories out of her, but disappointed that many of the stories are lost forever since the culture of oral storytelling is quickly disappearing.
So I’ll join Liane in saying, “Carpe Diem.”
And well, since it is Thanksgiving, enjoy family, friends, feasts, and turkey. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!