They say that time heals all wounds.
But sometimes it can reopen them too.
Like after you've lost a loved one.
And you don't think you'll ever be the same because you miss them so much.
But you trudge on until years later something hits you in the gut.
A simple photograph, and a letter, that brings it all back.
It happened to me not too long ago. More than two decades after my dad died, my cousin sends me a package.
In it some old pictures, actually really old pictures of my dad that she had found in an aunt's storage trunk, and a letter my dad wrote to his mom while he was serving in England during World War II.
I was stunned. I couldn't put them down. I had never ever seen them.
Or these other photographs of my dad with this very Irish-looking woman who he'd later marry, and I would later call--mom.
Before me. Before my brother and sisters. Before beginning a new life. Then getting sick later in life. And ultimately both of them slipping the bonds of life.
Here, just starting life.
My parents, little more than kids, frozen in time.
And for me stopped in time.
Reminding me after all these years, how much I missed them. And how much I wished I could share one more laugh with them. One more story with them. One more minute with them.
But the ending is always the same. The reality is always unaltered.
They're gone. And those moments are too.
I guess what's got me waxing nostalgic on this snowy day are all these latest images and recordings that have popped out of nowhere concerning incidents we have long thought done and gone.
Back tempting our memory, and our emotions all over again.
--pictures never before seen of the space shuttle Challenger, 28 years after that fatal flight.
--new images of John Kennedy in a Dallas motorcade, 50 years after that fateful day.
--and sound, actual sound, never before released, of Martin Luther King addressing a group in New York. A year before a slightly more memorable address to a much larger group in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Martin Luther King, September 12, 1962: There is but one way to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation. That is to make its declarations of freedom real, to reach back to the origins of our nation, when our message of equality electrified an unfree world, and reaffirm democracy by deeds as bold and daring as the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
It's like he were speaking now.
Like those Challenger astronauts were still alive now.
Like John Kennedy might have dodged the bullets that were seconds away from hitting him then, was with us now.
But they're not are they? None of them are with us now.They're all gone now.
Like my parents.
All memories now.
I still don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing to get fresh reminders of pain you thought long subsided.
But I suspect it's better than glossing over all the wonderful memories that preceded their passing, 'lest they long be forgotten.
Because it's painful to look at. But I always want another look.