If you have seen Disney’s “Coco” then you know the heartstrings that are tugged as sweet baby Coco sings “Remember Me” to her Papa as he prepares to hit the road in pursuit of his musical career. And you also know that, unfortunately, (spoiler alert) he never makes it back to her. Despite his absence within the remainder of her upbringing and the “music being lost” among the descendants of her family, she was able to recall the words of that beautiful song that held their bond well into her dying days. She may have just needed a little nudge from her grandson here or there to keep his memory alive.
I remember watching the movie through tear-streaked eyes and thinking to myself “Wow! How great is the power of a parent’s love, a child’s love, a family’s love; a Love so strong that it transcends generations and touches the lives of all those who have encountered it.”
I consider my family to be close-knit. Sometimes … if I’m being honest … too close for comfort. Mine is the type of family that doesn’t believe in “personal space” or volume of conversation. They are also the type of family that will overbearingly pick on you and love you and shower you with unnecessary gifts “just because.” They may be crazy, but they are mine, quirks and all.
But I think that’s what I love the most about family. The uniqueness that makes each and every family member connected to one another. I mean, get all the cousins together and you are sure to have a good time! We are always recalling hilarious or heartfelt stories about each other, our parents, and grandparents.
I have family pictures around our house of both living and deceased. I make it a point to talk about our ancestors to my children in hopes that they soak in all the loving memories.
Our oldest child, Amelia, has never met her great grandmother and her great grandfather (my grandparents) died when she was about 2.5 years old. Despite these facts, Amelia will speak of them as if she knew them; some of her mannerisms and silly sayings are akin to them. It’s as if they have this connection that is beyond this earthly life. She knows and understands that the family members that came before her are just as important in her life as the family she has here on earth. I am honored to be the link that has the privilege of passing on traditions from them to her. I hope my grandchildren and great grandchildren will remember me when I am gone, and it may be the responsibility of my children to pass on my legacy.
As we approach Dia de los Muertos and All Souls Day, take some time to share with your children a story, keepsake, or even a song from an ancestor that is unique to your family. Or maybe even work on your family tree together. Make new memories through sharing some of the old. Don’t lose your family’s music!
“Know that I’m with you
The only way that I can be
Until you’re in my arms again
– Disney’s Coco “Remember Me”