that is - until this morning
my mother showed us a home movie from 1976. she had just gotten it transferred to dvd. my grandmother had come to visit from italy. all of my aunts, uncles and cousins were over for a celebration at my childhood home.
i was eager to watch it - wanting to see how i was at 8 years old and how everyone looked 34 years ago. however, i truly wasn't prepared for the powerful emotion i felt as i watched it. there i was - an 8 year old girl - laughing and being silly with my brother. my parents were so young and fashionable! even hip! my father was very handsome and charismatic. so young and charming. my mother was a young mom in her 30s..thin, hard-working, put together..... my now deceased uncles - alive! laughing! their names still come up quite often - in stories and other memories about them. we see them in pictures and remember how they were......
but the movies - seeing them talking and moving and breathing...........living!
when i think about my childhood i don't seem to remember the happy times. once in awhile a memory will surface that makes me smile....but generally my feelings about my childhood are..well...neutral. but seeing these movies - seeing my childhood self happy and playing......seeing my cousins hamming it up for the camera.......seeing the women working together - cooking, serving, tending to needs, zombies......and seeing the men - the kings! being waited on hand and foot - arms around each other - smoking - proud to be men and rulers of the roost......seeing all this was extremely powerful.
what a gift - the gift of home movies. i need to remember this and pull out my movie camera more often. for my children and my children's children. yes a picture can capture a moment - but a movie, a movie captures a life
(there is still time to join the Easter/spring swap!!)