I was at the hospital the other day for physio and overheard a weeping girl telling someone that her father was ill, so sick he was not going to make it.
It broke my heart.
I was pulling out of the parking lot and almost slammed on the brakes and turned back, almost raced back into the hospital and grabbed the girl’s arm and stared in her face and spoke to her.
But I’ve tried to stop doing that since the restraining order. Kidding.
I wanted to tell her, urgently, forcefully, to record her father’s voice.
Because there are always photos to look at, unless you’re like my dad and took all the photos in the family, but their voices slip away once they are gone.
For a while after my mum died, I could hear her exasperated, “now, Darth,”, and sometimes her laugh. I remember my brother hung onto her last phone message for a long long time. My dad’s voice is so long gone, and now that his last brother has passed away, I can’t even catch the echo.
I miss them, the sounds of my youth, their voices around me. I speak like them, I mispronounce scallops and have a quirky blend of Ottawa Valley and Atlantic Canada in my accent. But what I wouldn’t give to hear my dad’s laugh, my mum’s stories, even them saying hello.
So those of you with parents, take the time, record your parents, get them to tell you stories of their youth. You don’t realize how much you’ll miss the sound of them telling you off until they can’t do it any more….