Cookies and Capacitors

A heavy dose of perspective

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 12:24AM

I was just slapped with a hard dose of perspective.

Yesterday, I bitched about my parents “not understanding” me. I do, however, understand they are products of a foreign generation which shares hardly any similarities with my own. I understand that I can love them, and be annoyed with them, at the same time. And, I understand that perhaps love is what allows me to forgive those annoyances.

My parents (“friends” and “cherished ones” are definitely replaceable in this passage) aren’t going to be there for me forever. Eventually, as morbid of a subject that it is, they will pass. Now, I’ve thought long and hard about the following question: Am I going to feel like I do, now, once the inevitable occurs? No. Hell no, of course not, never in a million years! Why: because I love them, even if I’m currently annoyed with them.

I’ve had my own close calls with death, and I’ve witnessed it from a 3rd party perspective. My Grandpa Don died half a decade ago; it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever dealt with. Seeing his cold, lifeless body laying in that casket had me running back to the good memories, and the tangible objects that reminded me of his awesome existence.

My parents raised me; there are innumerable objects in my possession that remind me of them everyday, and their efforts in bringing me up. However, very few of these objects have any significant meaning. There are some meaningful ones, though. Like voicemails and video tapes.

If my parents, either one or both – it does not matter – died in their sleep tonight, there would be only one thing I’d think of retrieving: a one-cent roll of plastic with embedded magnetic particles, wound around a cheap plastic reel, housed in a cheap plastic enclosure. It could be their voice on an old answering machine tape, or a classic home movie, but their intrinsic value makes them more meaningful to me than any other possession.

Anyway, I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this post. I just had to get my feelings out, lest I be guilt-ridden from the previous post.

Mom, Dad: I love you, even though it doesn’t always show.

(Bonus: an audio documentary composed of a man’s voicemails spanning from his lively young-adulthood and slowing down as the years progress, friends get older, parents get sick, and the like.)