This summer isn't the first time I've learned that, in William Faulkner's words, "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past." I wonder sometimes what to make of this quote. Should we be sad that the past has a ceaseless grip on the present, or should it give us cause to rejoice? In the case of this photograph, I am glad that the past never leaves us.
Meet my Grandma and Grandpa Wilson. They both passed away before I was even a teenager, but I have certain unforgettable memories of them. One that really stays with me is an occasion when Grandpa and I were alone in his living room. He was kind of a quiet type in his later years, and we just sat in silence for a long time. After a while, Grandpa held up his arm and positioned his hand in the "Live Long and Prosper" symbol from Star Trek. That was the day I learned how to do that trick.
What does that moment really mean? I'm not sure. What I do know is that I smile to think of it. My only regret regarding my grandparents is that I wish I had had more time. I wish I had gotten to know them better while I had the chance.
... and that's where the present comes in. If we make our days worth living and create a constant flow of happy moments for ourselves, our past won't be lamentable. It will be a source of joy and comfort. That's not to say nothing bad will ever happen. These two lovely people are no longer on this world. But I can stand as a living legacy of their impact. And maybe that's all that matters. For today.