A few weeks ago my four year old was snuggled on my lap where we had contentedly been reading some of her favorite books. She was playing with my hair when she giggled and said, “Mama, whistle!”
So I whistled a little tune.
“No Mama, do that loud whistle.”
So, I did. This is the whistle that means, “Come here!” or “Way to go!” The one I bust out at USA Soccer matches, or when I’m hunting for my children or dogs who are off playing somewhere in our twenty-two acres of woods, or, on rare occasions, when I need to silence a room.
She asked with wide eyes, “How do you know how to do that, Mama?” And just like that, there it was. Another moment life had presented for me to tell her about someone she belongs to.
How I remember being with Grandad one summer and wanting to know how he could whistle like that. Grandad loved to teach people how to do things, and when he did his crystal clear blue eyes would literally sparkle like he was divulging one of life’s best-kept secrets. We stood in the circle of his driveway and he whistled a few times for me as I studied his mouth. I practiced for days after that until…there it was. I could whistle just like him. I was fourteen at the time. I remember how excited I was to be able to do it, and how anxious I was to please him and show him.
Looking back I realize that most of that excitement was rooted in being able to do something that tied me to him. Thirty-six years later I can still see his stance, those twinkling eyes, and his mouth as he whistled. And I wonder if my eyes sparkle when I share one of life’s best kept memories with the four year old snuggled on my lap as I tell of her a man I am tied to, and who, through me, she is tied to as well.
So, here’s to remembering and passing on the little and the big moments we’ve shared with those who’ve gone before, and to knowing they really are life’s best-kept memories.
Kelly Blaine, Founding Partner and President, Fjor Films