Does anyone need a drink?


“The Human Voice is the most perfect instrument of all.”

–Arvo Pärt

On Saturday, I had lunch with two cousins – one of which I haven’t seen in at least 30 years.

Cousin Joanne brought me a gift: A few parental-related photos and a cassette tape.

The cassette tape was from many years ago, when Joanne’s brother, Jim, made a tape recording of mom and dad. He asked many questions of mom about her family and growing up – the house they lived in, the garden, how my grandparents related to their children, and more. Dad also had his turn, telling everyone about staying calm and living through an armed robbery when he managed an A&P grocery store in Oshkosh.

There were moments of attention deficit, straying onto unrelated subject matter and mom asking her guests at least twice, “Do you need a drink?” Then she would tell my dad, “Evan! Make everyone a drink!”

When I listened to the tape with cousin Judy at her house, I was positive I would end up needing a box of kleenex.

That wasn’t the case.

You see, this was an unexpected gift of pure joy. The cassette tape – hearing mom and dad’s voices again – made me smile and laugh, not cry. In their speech patterns were the rich tones of the parents I knew – my dad’s deep, gravelly words and mom’s attempt at speaking German; their familiar euphemisms and interactions with one another; the way they laughed. I could hardly believe I was hearing them speak again…a true blessing.

I cannot thank my cousins enough for having done this in the first place and then keeping that cassette for so many years.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

My only concern now is finding someone who will convert or record the cassette onto CDs so that brother and I can continue to listen and remember the voices of our parents for years to come.

This post has been brought to you by parental voices and Linda Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday. If you are wondering what One-Liner Wednesday is all about, CLICK HERE.

Linda G. Hill is the Queen of One-Liners and rules over her kingdom of followers. Check out today’s post and commit yourself to join the Queen’s one-liner army because there’s no fighting or blood, only comradery and fun with words.


30 responses to Does anyone need a drink?

  1. dweezer19 says:

    Oh Mary, what a treasure. I had several recordings of my sons as small children that my now ex daughter-in-law put to cd for me some years ago. You should have no problem finding someone with audio and/or film experience to do this for you. It is so worth the effort. 😊

  2. Dan Antion says:

    What a wonderful gift. They were so nice to have saved that for so long. It will be nice to have that to listen to in the future. Did you even know about the robbery?

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The tape is a remarkable gift…I’m still wondering why it would have been kept for so many years, but so grateful! Yes, I knew about the robbery, but not all of the details. I remember dad being quite shaken up over it, as anyone would be if they had a gun in their face.

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    The photos we have and their images are forever engrained in our memories … but their voices! And their laugh! Those are harder to hold onto. This is a gift beyond measure 💕

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’ve been trying to hold onto my dad’s voice for the last seven years and now I don’t have to. It’s right there! I’m anxious to get it converted so I can listen to mom and dad anywhere…at home, in the car, at work. So awesome!

  4. marianallen says:

    What a wonderful treasure! I’ll bet you felt like a flower that didn’t realize it needed water until you got a bit.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      That’s a great analogy, Marian. I had no clue how special hearing their voices again would be until I was showered with water/love by my cousin.

  5. John Holton says:

    You know, you can use a program like Audacity as a recorder on your computer. Run a cable from the headphone jack on your cassette recorder into the microphone jack on your computer, start the tape, then start recording in Audacity. (There are other programs that record, like Audio Hijack, which walks you through the setup.) Then save (or export) to an MP3 file. Just a suggestion.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks John. I will have to look into that and also ask a friend for her cassette recorder (I don’t have that part of the equipment).

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I will never ever take this gift for granted, Laura. I wish everyone could have a recording of their parents after they’re gone.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Laurie, I’ve been telling friends to make sure they leave something similar for their children. And mark their photographs! When we’re young, we never stop to think about keepsakes like photos and recorded voices.

  6. Norm 2.0 says:

    What special people your cousins are and what an amazingly special gift to receive!
    It reminds me of an old work colleague many years ago who had been looking for help to shrink-wrap the local newspaper from the day his daughter was born with the intention of giving it to her on her 18th birthday, as in: this is what happened in the world on the day you came into it. I always thought it was so cool.
    When we’re young we usually we don’t think of things like this or just kinda take it all for granted. Now that he’s been gone a while, a chance to hear my dad’s voice and his laugh again would be more precious than any store-bought gift I could think of.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I know, Norm. When I was young, I put no thought into having photos and recordings from my parents. Why do we wait until they are gone to think of this stuff? Is it because we believe everyone will live forever? One of my few regrets was that I didn’t talk to my parents more often while they were living, simply to hear their stories and keep an account of their lives. Then again, I have their voices and I am happy beyond words!

  7. J-Dub says:

    How wonderful! I wish I had thought about doing the same. I’d give anything to hear my parents’ voices again. Maybe B and I should make some recordings for the kiddos.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Yes, make a recording for your children! Have a cocktail and tell them all about you. They’ll thank you for it later.

  8. Shelley says:

    Aww…I can’t stop smiling! So wonderful that they did that for you and that you’ve found joy in listening to it. I like the memory reflections you shared, so heart-warming! A Cassette to CD converter at Walmart is pretty cheap. I agree with the exchange you and Jill had above too. What a fun idea!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’ll check out the converter. It may be just as cheap as having someone else do it.
      The more I find out about mom and dad, that I didn’t know before, the deeper in my heart they live. Their voices serve to deepen even more, Shelley.

      • Shelley says:

        Aw, I bet. For the longest time, I saved the voice message my mom had left on our answering machine. You’re very fortunate to have such a wonderful treasure. Convert it to save it!

  9. joey says:

    That’s a truly remarkable gift! I’m so glad you had this happiness 😀
    I can hear my father in my head any time I want. For my mother, I have tapes where she read to the children.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m still smiling over this, Joey. I can’t tell you how much I am grateful for the tape, probably as you are with the tape of your mom.

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