A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a family photo can go beyond spoken sentiments to touch the heart. Looking at pictures of my adult children when they were babies, or of my parents when they were less gray, triggers memories and emotions beyond words.
One photograph can communicate a whole story—like the photo of my two-year old daughter who clamored to get out of her high chair. We thought she wanted to go off and play with her big brother. Nope. She climbed into her brother’s booster seat and finish the salad he left behind—an early sign of her focused and determined disposition.
The photo of my husband after he returned from 7 months in the Persian Gulf brings back a flood of memories of our firstborn son hitting milestones in his first year without his dad. Then follows the intense feelings of my husband’s safe return.
Hidden in a box of pictures—or on a memory card or a phone filled with digital photos—are the memories we cared about enough to capture. But they just sit there, waiting to be revisited, to retell the stories to us, to our children and our grandchildren. Just waiting.
Last year after my father passed away, my brother cleaned out his house and found boxes of photo albums and envelopes filled with pictures of people we didn’t know. Old, old photographs. So many questions ignited. Who were these people? What part did they play in our own distant history? Now that my dad and his family are deceased, we have no way of knowing. Those stories will remain untold.
But that spurs me on to go through our family photos and allow the memories to flow and the tales to be told, shared, laughed at, and sometimes cried over.
Where are your pictures hiding? What stories are they waiting to tell? What memories might you unexpectedly revisit?
In future posts, I’ll take you through steps to deal with your collection of photos and memorabilia. Some of this work can be a time-consuming process, but how rewarding it is to celebrate the people and moments in our past which impacted and directed our steps.
Interested in getting your memories organized to last a lifetime? Give me a call at (610) 547-2264.