The Surprises of Memory Lane

Surprises of Memory Lane in a Photo

Last month I shared about going through old photos with my mom as we cleaned out a chest in her in-law suite. That morning was blessed, listening to her muse over various photos, recalling long forgotten people and events from over 50 years ago.

But what happened in the days that followed was even more magical.

I left her room with an armful of albums, loose photos and a box of envelopes, and brought them to my office (and photo organizing studio). Over the next few days, I carefully removed the pictures from the two albums. These were the oldest, most delicate photos. After removing them, I scanned the photos and loaded them into my permanent digital storage account.

Then the fun began.

I visited with my mom several times to get her help and make sense of the photos. Each time I brought my computer to her and clicked through the pictures, my mom frequently paused to remember. Stories began to take shape, deeper memories surfaced. For instance, as I asked the name of a woman in a photo, my mom’s eyes were drawn to the garden in the background. She described in detail the way her dad grew their vegetables in this small but efficient plot. Not only did I learn all sorts of quiet details about her childhood, but she genuinely seemed to enjoy thinking back to a simpler time.

I created a photobook and gave it to her on Easter. Holding the crisp new book in her hands was a whole different experience. She paged through with her granddaughters on either side. They picked up the task of asking questions about her life and the stylish people in the 70-year old photos.

I am very aware of how valuable each of these moments is. After days of feeling shut in, my mom’s tone became relaxed as she recalled endearing memories of her childhood. She loved that we were interested in hearing her accounts. It was a break from the stress and a connection to family history.

During this seemingly endless quarantine, I encourage you to travel down your own memory lane—with a parent, grandparent, or just looking back on your own personal story. If you are able, share photos and stories through audio recordings or the wonders of Zoom. Ask the questions, preserve the answers, savor the stories.

If you want help figuring out where to start, how to gather the stories or create a keepsake photobook, please reach out—I’m delighted to chat!

Give me a call at (610) 547-2264!

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