Robert has a recording that my parents made for my first Christmas. Since I was born 3 days after Christmas, the recording was made when I was almost 1 year old – a long time ago. I believe that they made the recording to send out in a Christmas card. I remember a little white paper record that could be played on a 45 rpm record player. In the recording they are having me repeat the prayer: “Now I lay me down to sleep.” Then they ask me what I want for Christmas – which was a “pocky purse.” Then my mother asks me what Jimmy wants (Jimmy was my doll) and I say Jimmy wants a pocky purse too.
Robert played part of the recording to begin his Sunday morning yoga class, this past week. I love to hear it, but every time I do, it makes me smile and almost makes me cry. Hearing it is bittersweet. There is such hope, love and potential in the voices of that young couple and their little girl. And now the young couple is gone and their little girl is a gray haired, older, if not old, lady. Of course, this is just how life goes – but the recording still makes me a little sad.
My father died when I was 21 and my mother when I was 42. My father never really got to know me or any of his children as adults. If he passed me on the street now, I’m not sure he would even recognize me. My mother lived to see all of her children married and all of her grandchildren born. By the time Robert and I got married, I was the only one of her children still living in Tucson, so she got to see us often and got to know Robert really well. But there is so much more of my life and the lives of all her children and grandchildren that she missed.
Hearing the recording, the oh-so-obvious love in the voices of my parents, makes me wonder what they would think of their little girl now – as she approaches her 69th birthday. They must have had hopes and dreams for that little girl – I wonder if I have lived up to them?