By Darla Kinney Scoles
When our first daughter was born, my husband and I were living far away from both sets of grandparents. In an effort to keep them up-to-speed on the baby’s progress, I one day made a recording of her cooing and sent it to my parents. It was a fun project and my mother, especially, appreciated the gesture – so much so, she returned the cassette to me years later as a remembrance.
Twenty-six years later, I still enjoy listening to the sound of our firstborn’s little voice making her first sounds. Doing so transports me right back to those early days of motherhood. Perhaps, one day, I will transfer it to a disk and pass it on to my daughter.
Often, it seems, the things parents and grandparents pass on to their offspring are just that – things. Yes, sometimes they are very personal things with deep familial meaning and can reflect the individual passing them on, but how much greater would the connection be with something even more personal?
How about passing on the sound of one’s voice?
Technology has brought us books that allow us to record the text in our own voices, and making recordings on our own is easy enough. Why not – rather than writing a message – record it to be played again and again with the sound of a familiar voice making it a direct connection? If passing on an heirloom, think about telling the story of that item in a recording to be handed down with it.
Letters written in a loved one’s personal style of handwriting evoke much more emotion than those typed on a computer. The same is true for hearing the sound of a departed family member’s unique speech patterns. It’s as if one can feel his or her presence as one reads or listens.
Personally, I’d rather have that than the family china or my grandmother’s fox fur hat.