Last Memories

IMG_1569-001This is the last photograph of my immediate family. It was made in May of 2001. My brother Lee, on the left was up from Austell, Georgia, and Larry, next to him, came by from Kodak. Our dad and mother and I lived together at the time. As happens, after documenting our group in early years, we hadn’t made one for  years.

Larry died in his sleep the night this picture was taken. It was unexpected and the shock was felt deeply because he was only 62, had not been sick, and was the first of the family to die.

My dad died in 2003 at the age of 94 and my mother in 2008 at the age of 96. Lee and I are the only two left. When talking to Lee recently it dawned on me that when either he or I pass on, there will be no one left with whom to share the exact recollections of our childhood, our upbringing, our family vacations, our steps towards adulthood.

Share what is important to you with kin and friends–write it down, record it, identify pictures. Reminiscing can make you laugh or cry and bring to mind the small as well as important happenings of the past. Memories can bring back a closeness that often has been lost over the years.

Do it while you can.IMG_1586




Published by Judytwiga

I am a freelance writer and photographer who enjoys living close to the action in Knoxville, Tennessee. In the 1980s I created and published Zoo Connections, an international networking publication for non-animal zoo departments. Jobs over the years include working with the developmentally disabled, night front desk at a motel, assistant in development and membership at the NC Zoological Society, Customer Relations manager at Regal Entertainment Group, census enumerator, concessions at University of Tennessee, house cleaner, substitute teacher, sitter for children, houses, and pets. Freelance work at Knoxville News Sentinel and KnoxZine. Contributor to A Knoxville Christmas (2008,2007), and articles for the North Carolina Zoo website. Interested in anything except humorless people and politics. Enjoy reading, Scrabble, Catan, camping. I hold dear family (human and animal), friends, Kenya, Sunset Beach, NC and the Keys.

5 thoughts on “Last Memories

  1. You are so right, Judy. Write it down, record it, video it while your family and friends are still with you. My sister and I are the only ones left, and we are often stumped at trying to remember certain things about our family. I have photos in scrapbooks that I regret not “getting around to labeling,” and now I look at them and cannot remember who or where the photo was taken. Thanks for sharing your family story. I enjoyed it very much.


  2. Absolutely LOVE this. U R sooo right. The pic brings back many memories for me of you and your family. LOVE them all and u too!!!!


  3. You are so right. I have finished a family history memoir, which I have sent to the two cousins on my mother’s side of the family and several of my “new found” cousins on my father’s side. I am now collecting memories that my cousins from my father’s side of the family have of our grandparents. Some ot these cousins were born after our grandparents died, but several of us older ones have good memories of the grandparents so I am asking for what they remember and recording it on paper. It is interesting hearing from these cousins, I learned that my grandmother loved to play the piano and would often play it instead of tending to household chores. That in the early years my grandparents lived in a home with a wood burning stove and a privy out back. UpState New York in the early 1900s was comparable to living in the mountains of TN. For whatever reason these things are great to know.Hopefully, the generation coming along behind me will enjoy learning about their great grandparents and grandparents.


  4. You are so correct on this. There are so many things I have thought and wondered about and now there is no one to ask. So sad.


  5. This entry was so poignant. So sad that Larry passed away that evening, how wonderful that you had taken the picture that day. After my mom passed away, my dad was at loose ends so I asked him to tape some memories for me. He was a wonderful story teller with a great memory and he sat down and recorded twenty hours of tape, that chronicled our family, from before he was born through 1996. Since then I have had the tapes put on CD’s and onto my computer, where I can put them on flash drives. Recently, our great grandchildren, while playing on my computer, found the stories and when we went into the room, we could hear my dad speaking. He passed away in 2002 and so it was quite an eerie feeling.

    In addition to these memories, my father and mother saved every letter that I wrote to them, remember writing letters. I recently sat down and started typing them into my computer. So many memories that I had forgotten. It is amazing how times have changed and me along with them. It has been a lot of fun recalling some of the events, others, not so much.

    I need to sit with my only sibling, my brother, Newman, and try to leave memories that we share for the young ones coming along. Our history is theirs.

    Judy, thanks for being the incredible, wonderful, creative person that you are. I don’t know that we knew each other well in high school, but I certainly treasure the time I have had to get to know you now. You are a gem!


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