This week was my grandson’s 22nd birthday. We celebrated today with his wife, his mother, his grandmother and me. Every few years, I write a birthday letter to my kids and/or grandkids.
I tell them what I was doing when I was their age, whether it be 40 years old or 12 years old. I give them the context of things. Sometimes, I would have to give a one-year or two-year introduction to the exact things that were happening in my life at that time.
When possible, I would capture my thoughts on what was happening in my father’s life when he was the same age. Obviously, I wasn’t alive when my father was twenty years old, but I was when he was forty. I told my grandson today that I wasn’t alive in 1942 when my father turned 22. However, I gave him a brief overview of his flying duties during WWII.
Sometimes, I relate what my father was doing when I was twenty years old, for example. If you can’t go backwards in time, reverse direction and capture the events on the opposite side of the equation. For example, when I was twenty-two-years old, my father was forty-eight. The year was 1968. There were a lot of things going on that I remember about my father in the late 60’s.
It is easy to capture our thoughts and pass them on to the next generation, or the generation after that. It is easy to capture the essence of comparing the worlds we live in at various times.
I was away from home for an extended period when my twenty-fifth-wedding anniversary was approaching. I noticed things as I wandered around that reminded me of the fun times we had experienced in our first twenty-five years of marriage.
I started capturing those thoughts and put them to paper. I bought a small blank book and hand wrote each past experience that brought joy to my mind over the years. I had planned to write about one hundred thoughts but ended up with around eighty of them.
It doesn’t take time to capture words or bullets about some experience in your life worth sharing with others. We can relive shared experiences. Or, we can make others aware of our lives coincident with their time-life-continuum at the same age.