The voice in the machine

My wife Jeanne with my mom, Jackie Miller

My wife Jeanne with my mom, Jackie Miller

When my mom passed away a few years back, my dad was just beginning his recovery from a very serious illness himself. Those first few months after Mom’s death, my brothers and sisters and I were all on the phone regularly with Dad or stopping in to check how he was doing and see if we could help with anything.

I popped by a couple times a week at least, and probably talked to him on the phone a couple more times weekly. As he gained strength, he was able to get outside and do the things he loves to do around the farm once again.

Finally, after about six months, there came a day when I called but didn’t catch him. The phone rang eight times and then the answering machine took the call, and I heard a sweet and cheerful, “Hello!”

It was my mom’s voice.

I remember distinctly listening to that whole message – maybe 8 or 10 seconds worth – and then being at a complete loss for what to say after the beep!

I didn’t want to say anything; I just wanted to listen again.

That message is still on my dad’s answering machine, I’m happy to report, and I’m sure it won’t be going anywhere.

And while I love those unexpected occasions when I call Dad but get the machine instead, it does bother me that I never took the time to create a more substantial recording of Mom, talking about her life and times and the stories she remembered.

I can’t do anything to change that, but I can do my best to secure the stories of others, in their own voices.

I began with my dad, about two hours of recording stories and recollections, now secured on CD and shared with my brothers and sisters. I’m sure I’ll do more sessions with Dad, but I know I have a good start, and I know future generations will be able to hear those stories and, listening to his voice and the way he talks and jokes and laughs, will get an insight into who he is as a human being.

That’s what I really want to share with our descendants. That’s what I want you to think about sharing with your descendants.

Legacy Chronicles Life Stories is devoted to recording, securing and sharing not just memories, but a little of the personality and character of the loved one. We have structured our process and options to make this important service affordable for everyone, because we don’t want to see anyone’s family stories, and storytellers, lost to the future.

I now have the relief of knowing my descendants will learn about Art Miller and his life in stories told in his own voice. You can have that same peace of mind. Please contact us to set up a session which meets your family’s needs.

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