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Doug Barry

Historian, Political Philosopher, Veteran


August 12, 2014

Tomorrow will be one year already since we lost my Mom. I can't keep from feeling sad this week, but I want most of my focus to be on celebrating her life, and I regret not doing more to preserve everyone's memories in the weeks after she passed away. I think everyone should write and collect stories about their loved ones. We had so many great stories a year ago. I wanted to write them all down, but life gets in the way, and you keep putting it off until you can't remember them all anymore. Memories are the most important thing you can pass on to your family. Your children and grandchildren can make money and buy luxuries. If they manage money well, they will do well, and if they can't manage money, what you leave them won't last anyway. I would tell you not to just record that your father was an electrician and your mother was a secretary, but write down those events that show their personality, that show who they really were as a person.

For those of us still here, I'm reminded how short life is. My mother looked forward to all the things she would be able to do in her retirement and spent years of that time sick and in a wheelchair. I would tell you to figure out what you really want in life, and all the steps you must take to get it. If you are not willing to take those steps, I would tell you to find another dream, and to do that sooner, rather than later. If you have a family, work out what you want together. Don't spend your life just surviving. That won't be the memory you will want in your final days, and I think spending those last days with regret is one of the worse feelings someone can have.
A lot has happened over the past year. We successfully fought to keep my mother's home in the family. We settled the estate, and are still working on how to structure our future lives and living arrangements. I ran for public office (unsuccessfully, but I learned what I need to pursue that dream in the future). I find myself re-evaluating what's important to me, and looking at how to get what I really want out of life. I find myself wanting to be a better person. I don't know for certain what happens when we leave this world, but I don't want to hurt whatever chance I have of seeing my mother again. This week, I find my mind wandering a lot, as it will be again in two weeks on my mother's birthday. I'm sad that we lost my Mom at what I would consider a young age (just shy of 78), but more importantly, I'm grateful for all the years we had with her, and the number of lives she touched. Those are memories I would like to keep for the rest of my life.