This is why I offer this
My mom died when I was seven years old. And I only have one memory of her that I can really say is mine. Many other memories are those shared by other people, telling me what a lovely person she was. But I can see that the memory lives in their eyes, they sparkle and dance, but I don't relate to their words. She feels really lost to me.
I have a few photos of her, at least something to picture her by. But a photo is not living, it does not move and does not capture the tangibleness of her.
I remember once seeing a short 2 minute black and white video clip of her many years ago. It was the first time I saw her 'move'. I was mesmerised. In my mind, she had always existed as a static photo on my wall and here she was, moving around on the video screen.
As the years passed, so I would often imagine how her voice sounded and what she thought. What were her dreams? What were her betrayals?
And much later on, as I also took on my role of being a parent, I wondered how she had parented me? What were her dreams for me? What was her favourite memory of me? What did she cherish most about me?
Unfortunately, I can't ever retrieve those answers.
But I then realised that even if she was alive today, I would still want to know those things about her, and what she had wished for me as I was growing up.
I am sure her dreams for me changed with years. And I am sure each year she would have had a different favourite memory of us being together. I am also sure that her experience of being a mother would also have changed over time And I would have loved to know those.
The father of a friend of mine died when he was just a boy of 10 years old. The father had kept a diary during those times. My friend held a grudge against his father for many years but it was only when he was in his thirties, and a parent to his own two boys that he read the diary again. Now he was reading his father's words when they were at about the same age. It was incredibly healing for him.
And I nearly made the biggest mistake
I nearly fell into the trap of thinking that it is too late. My mom is dead, I can't do anything about it. But I can do that for Cailin (who in 2012 was 5 years old), and for myself (who in 2012 was 39 years old). I can begin recording my conscious memories so both she and I can relive them long after this time has passed.
I want her to know what I felt, thought and wished for her. And I want to remind myself of what is means to be a parent in this moment.
If you asked me what my favourite memory of her was two years ago, I can't remember. And I will certainly forget the same for each year coming.
So I have designed a system to remind myself of my conscious commitment to capture, record or write down those things I most want to remember, but know will also most likely forget. These are the conscious memories I wish to keep alive.
And I wish to give this to you...