A Cherished VoiceMail And Other Audio Memories
Our guest blogger this week is Kate Spears, a freelance social media manager and blogger as well as a VoiceQuilt gift giver and friend. A self-proclaimed southern belle, Kate created a blog called Southern Belle Simple where she shares stories, beloved family recipes, southern traditions and more. She is very sentimental about preserving memories will be holding a VoiceQuilt giveaway on her blog at the end of September.
There’s something about the power of hearing a familiar voice that can transport you to a different place and time. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for audio memories. Maybe it was my family’s old holiday sing-along recordings or the sweet voicemail messages that I’ve saved in my voicemail since 2006. In fact, there was one voice message in particular that spurred me to contact VoiceQuilt. I wanted to preserve that audio memory and contacted VoiceQuilt about their recording rescue service.
My mom is a 4th grade teacher and her job, while rewarding, can be challenging. In 2006, she had a student named Ian, a kind and intelligent young man who also happened to be autistic. One day my mom showed her class a photo of my then-new puppy Leon and Ian was instantly taken with him.
Over the course of the year, my puppy Leon became a pen pal for the class. I wrote letters as Leon, encouraging the students to study and be kind to one other. Sometimes Ian had trouble focusing in class but my mom was able to help him focus by making Leon part of the daily lesson. For some reason, a day came when Ian really wanted to talk to Leon so my mom let him call me from school.
This is where my cherished voice mail and one of my favorite audio memories comes into play. Ian called and I wasn’t available so he left me a voice message, telling me how much he loves and misses Leon. There is such hope and joy in his voice, so I saved the voice message. Soon after, we learned Ian’s mom had gotten a new job in a different city and that the family was moving at the end of the school year.
I took Leon to visit the class so that he and Ian could say goodbye. There wasn’t a dry eye that day. Ian gave me one of his school pictures and I put it up on my bulletin board so I could see his smiling face and be reminded of his hope and optimism. I saved Ian’s voice message on my phone all these years so I could listen to it whenever I needed a lift. Now Ian is 16 and attends high school in Chicago. We reconnected recently via social media and his first question to me was about Leon.
I feel very fortunate to have audio memories of Ian and to also know that he is growing up and happy with his life. With the anniversary of September 11 upon us, I am reminded that everyone isn’t as lucky as I. Many of the individuals trapped in the Twin Towers called and left their loved ones messages, audio memories which stand as the last evidence of their lives. Some called to say big things and others just called to hear the other’s voice. No matter, those voices were powerful and the folks at VoiceQuilt understand that.
But I think it’s important to remember that the ones we love are always with us, when we keep them alive in our hearts. Yes, our audio memories help to keep them close to us and I’m so grateful to have mine of Ian. I’m also grateful to my friends at VoiceQuilt for helping me preserve the message that I’ve saved for so long.