A couple weeks ago, I was driving through a neighborhood with my family near where we live, and I saw an elderly woman standing at the edge of a street taking a picture of a house. Her car was parked out front, door open with a few boxes sitting in the front seat.
She was capturing one last memory
of her house before moving on.
I was captivated by this moment. I placed myself in her shoes and imagined what must be running through her mind. All the memories. I’m a sucker for nostalgia.
“Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. In Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again.”
– Don Draper, Mad Men
I had to talk to her. I stopped and asked if she lived here. She said, “Not anymore, but I did for over 40 years.” I commented on how beautiful the home was and how it must be filled with great memories. It was.
Within minutes, 83-year-old Marianna was walking my family and I through a time capsule of memories, her home.
We learned about why an extra bathroom was added, what her children loved to do, and how wonderful her neighborhood carpenter (now long gone) was. We learned about her life changes and how just recently her husband had passed away.
I stopped my car that day to help her capture one last memory, but what she gave me was far more valuable. She gave me perspective. This life is only but a vapor and before I know it, this moment will be a memory.