Many precious moments go by unrecorded. Some get recorded, but shouldn’t. This was the case with my uncle, who caught a moment of my grandfather in the latter years of his life.
Jim had us come down to the basement (me and my cousin Sam), said he had something really special he wanted us to see on the computer. We waited, and then after some help from Sam, we got the wave file playing. It was an old computer monitor (cream-colored, blocky) and the operating system was something mid-90s. As a result, it gave a crude visualizer to accompany the wave file. It sputtered red, green and blue webs with my grandfather’s words. He suffered a stroke, and was coming out of that phase where every word was a struggle, the body grasping to come up for air, the brain kicked-in.
The scene was a familiar one, with Jim and my grandmother trying to convince grand-dad it was time to go to bed. He was at his chair in the livingroom watching TV; they had about 25 steps to get him up, into the walker, down the hall, and into the bed. He wet himself again, which was apparent in the recording, and you could hear a touch of anger in Jim’s voice, with dad. It had happened before, exactly the same way.
Jim, Sam and I stood in the basement with the light bulb exposed and the string dangling beside it. There wasn’t much to look at except the visualizer, and what it did with grand-dad’s intonations. At once, it was over and we were released.
Jim remarked how happy he was to have this, because it was one of the only parts of his father he really had, still.