Mike’s granddaddy Jud turns 98 this coming weekend, and my great-aunt Pearl will be 99 this October. Both of them are remarkably sharp in the mind to be as near 100 as they are, and Mike and I have both spent several hours listening to their stories. Granddaddy Jud’s tale about the first time he shoed a horse is worth hearing over and over (which is handy when you’re a Nelson and you hear the same stories a lot). Aunt Pearl’s memory of December 7, 1941 can bring tears to my eyes.

It may be time-consuming to visit your older relatives. You may have to yell at them to be heard (heaven knows Mike and I have done our share). You may hear the same story a few different times. But when they’re gone, you’ll be so very, very glad you did.