In a month it will be a year since my younger brother, Dale Mog, passed away from prostrate cancer. He’s been in and out of my mind during this time…but as time passes, his memory becomes more distant.
Today some of my students from last year chose to interrupt my prep period/lunch time to say hi, and we started looking at videos they’d enjoyed working on or watching.
I’m always trying to drive home the power of video and for some reason brought up the memorial I created for Dale. It didn’t hurt to watch it – but last year I honestly had trouble watching. We turned the lights off and as it played the kids commented when they saw shots of me with my brother and him with his wife and son. I told them his dying joke – he was a life long smoker – as he lay in the hospital his last few days: “Don’t worry about this cigarrette – I’ll never have to worry about dying from lung cancer.”
It would seem like something you wouldn’t show to students or talk about…but I think they learned something. They thought it would be horribly sad to visit under those conditions, until I asked would it be better if we didn’t see each other before he died….then explained how during his last week we joked and reminisced (and also came close to crying).
Then the (teacher’s) message – Dale is gone. However, I have this video to look at and recall the good times. It will be with me – and his wife and son. Alexander is only 11 now…but through his mother’s memories and his and this video, he will always have a part of his father with him. Video is powerful and can outlast the people in it.
Memories only last as long as those who hold them…visual images can outlast generations (if properly preserved).