Do you ever wish you could step back in time and ask deceased relatives about their lives, their times, their hopes and dreams? I know I do. As an only child, I have very few relatives left and I wish I had spent more time encouraging my family members to talk about their lives.
My grandmother was born at the turn of the century and it's hard to believe that in those days, women didn't even have the vote! I wonder if any of her friends were suffragettes.
I also think about the incredibly cumbersome fashions of the day. How did she really feel about wearing layers of clothing, in the days before air conditioning? Did she accept it? After all, that was the style and maybe no one questioned it. The flappers did, of course, but that came later.
I wonder if she ever wore any of those old fashioned bathing suits when she went to Rockaway or Jones Beach? Or maybe she just strolled along the boardwalk. Come to think of it, I never saw her go swimming on family vacations in later years. Maybe she never learned how. It would be easy to drown in one of those get ups!
And I think about the major events of the time, like World War II. My father and my uncles were in World War II and I wished I had encouraged them to talk about it. Even though the memories must have been painful because rarely did anyone discuss it.
And the Great Depression! I remember tales of men selling apples in the street. How desperate people must have been.
How about you? Do you ever wish you could find out more about your family history and what your loved ones thought about the events of the time? I wish I had asked them to let me record their thoughts. Memories slip away and can never be retrieved.