So considering Mother’s Day was a couple of days ago, it’s not surprising that I’ve been thinking a fair amount about my own mom who died suddenly 27 years ago (has it been that long?) leaving me with a slew of unanswered questions about my family history, my young childhood, her views on life, etc.. Seems like just as I was getting old enough to really have a somewhat intellectual relationship with her as well as a mother-son relationship, she was gone. Still makes me sad.
Last night I had this kind of cool waking dream that is no doubt related to her death and to the holiday. It was at some point in the future, after my own death (hopefully way, way into the future) and my kids were struggling with some of the same questions that I had about my own history. What were they like as kids? Why did we move? What were my grandparents like? But in this dream, even though I wasn’t there to answer them, they had another resource.
What I envisioned was them turning to the computer and accessing an avatar representation of me who carried in him the compilation of all my writing, blogging, photos, movies, oral histories and more that I had created while I was alive. And that avatar was able to sort through all of that information and answer their questions, have a conversation with them in fact, in my voice. At some point in the dream, I realized that the avatar was not only feeding back historical data, but was also using the sum of my work to offer advice and counsel in ways that I most likely would have offered were I alive. Even though I wasn’t there physically, it’s like a piece of my brain lived on, one that was able to provide for my kids a richer understanding of their histories and legacies. Certainly not anything that hasn’t been thought of before, but It was, as I said, a pretty cool vision.
I think that dream brought to light another aspect of why I blog. Not just to reflect. Not just to learn. But in some small way to leave a trail for those who come after me. I certainly can’t predict to what extent those people might find any of this relevant or compelling or useful, but I know I would love to have the chance to dig through the work of my own mother, to learn about her more deeply, to understand who she was and what she stood for. If nothing else, my kids will have that opportunity.
And with that thought, it’s 26 hours of travel home…