Do You Watch Old Home Movies?

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by Joe Mudd on June 24, 2011

My aunt Sally died last weekend. Her funeral was today.

The funeral home people provided my uncle and cousins with a nice memorial page that included a slide show of pictures of Sally.

I remember going through pictures of Richard on that night when we found out he was gone. The next day, Sarah, the cousins, and Richard’s girl friend Ivy went through boxes of pictures to pick out the ones to be used on the big montage. There were a lot of funny stories from the girls, and the day after we found out our son was dead, we found ourselves laughing.

I have several pictures of my aunt Sally. I also have a very funny video of her.

We have a family reunion every year at “the farm,” my dad’s home. It’s a big event. Everyone brings food. There’s enough fried chicken for an army, and all manner of side dishes.

One year Sally was carrying a container of biscuits into the kitchen. Several biscuits fell out and landed on the floor. She made a quick look around, and seeing no one, she picked them up and put them back in the container. Unfortunately for Sally, I was in the next room with a video camera and caught the whole thing on tape.

It was a big hit with the family when we played Sally sneaking the spilled biscuits back into the box. She got teased about it for several reunions afterward.

I’m sure her family would like to have that video.

But that would require me to go into that dangerous box. The one with the family videos.

And I’d have to watch those movies to find the one with Sally and her biscuits.

I’m just not that brave yet.

There are so many wonderful memories on those VHS tapes. Archives of happy times. And Richard’s smiling face.

I loved that face, and those smiles. I see them in my mind everyday.

But I can’t watch them on the TV screen.

Those memories are a treasure. They’re also a reminder of the great loss we feel. And that brings such pain.

So I’m not brave enough to open that dangerous box.

Not yet.

Can you watch your old home movies?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Juli King November 5, 2011 at 5:51 am

I can not bring myself to watch home movies because they are of different family . I don’t mean that in a bad way, but when my son passed away it changed the family dinidynamics. I hope to be able to watch them again. I have not been able to go to any of his friends weddings because I feel he should be there. I death of a child forever change you.

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Joe Mudd November 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Hi Juli
We haven’t had to face any weddings yet, but I think you’re right, it will be a challenge.

Having a child die does change everything about your life doesn’t it, and the way you look at everything?

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Roberta Korntved February 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I only have a few videos of Austin and he’s only about 5 or 6 years old in the last ones. He was 15 at his passing so those videos don’t feel like my recent Austin. I’ve surrounded myself with his pictures at all ages, but ultimately crave to see him in action. About a month before his passing, he and his Positive Behavior at School committee had worked on a vido that would air this past fall when the school year started. He died in July. One morning in September, I was praying, “Lord, I know you can’t let me ‘see’ Austin again, but Lord my heart is broken and if there is any way …” That afternoon I received a call from one of his teachers reminding me of the video he had been helped to make. It had just aired at school that week. Because of the reaction of his friends, she realized that perhaps I would like a copy of it as well. He’s only in 3 different scenes for less than 5 minutes total, but it is such a joy to watch him move and even hear his voice saying “Leave me alone” in the background in one of the clips. Wow, I love that kid!!

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