Over the last two days I have been highly focused on a single project. Ever since I was about three our family had a camcorder. For the most part we took it to many family affairs and recorded our loved ones for a later date. This was in the 1980s so we are talking about VHS, the plastic bricks of video. We built a rather sizable collection of these memories and at some point it seemed like there would be no use for them. I can tell anyone who might want to know if it is really worth taping family affairs or special occasions that it truly is.
My project has been pouring over the videos of the past as I convert VHS to data on my computer. I cannot help but watch the footage as it streams on to the hard drive and recalling old memories. This had me thinking about family more than I normally do and considering that I come from a large family and have a wife and two kids of my own this a rather large amount.
Before I go any further I have tell you that this project is long over due. I started this about four years ago and just kept finding excuses to put it off. So why am I working with such ambition now that it has been forgotten this long? The reason for this is that my grandfather died on the morning of March 8th 2011. He was an amazing man who lived to the grand old age of 96. He meant a great deal to myself and many more. So I have looked through many hours of film to find any clips of my grandfather so it can be pieced together in a tribute by my cousin who works in the film industry.
I have always been able to float through life and not care much for consequences and this has taken a toll on my life as I know it now. Times have changed and I do not have this same take on life as my younger self ounce did. As a father, which is my most beloved role in life, I look to my grandfather for inspiration. I never knew a greater man when it came to caring for his family. So as I watch old tapes of my family I think of him more than ever and I think about my life now and how I can be a better man and better serve my wife and children. It gives me hope for the future and allows me to see that there is a silver lining to everything and that no matter how difficult life may get everything must end both good and bad.
It has been a long but for my grandfather his journey has come to and end, but this is not a sad thing because a new journey has just begun. As for me I have seen and end to an era, a part of my life has gone now and that journey has ended. Now I am to begin a new journey, the one where I grow with my family and we create our own memories and begin new traditions.
In loving memory of James Lavern Ackley March 8 2011