Throughout the past few days, I have been spending time going through photo albums from my childhood (yes, the pictures were taken on film!) so that I can photograph them and upload them to my personal Facebook page to ensure they are both preserved digitally (eventually I plan to get them onto my external harddrive as well), and shared with family and friends who either haven’t seen these photos in decades or have never even seen photos of my childhood. This has been fun, somewhat time consuming, and has also been cause for a lot of remembrance of times past.
As I reflect upon the stories told by each photograph, I sometimes smile, laugh out loud, and even get a little misty eyed here and there. See, from the early 1990s until now actually spans over two decades. To those of you who are a bit more advanced in years, this may not seem like that long of a time period, but to me, it’s my life so far, which seems like a fairly long time to me personally!
A lot happens in over two decades. Neighbors and childhood friends may come and go, trees grow taller, people grow taller and get older, houses get painted different colors, some stores close down, some vacant lots are cleared to make room for new stores or subdivisions, and dear older relatives and friends pass away. In fact, I hadn’t realized quite how many amazing people I knew so well and loved so much during my childhood are no longer just a phone call, letter, or visit away anymore.
This side of eternity, I won’t ever get to eat spaghetti with, shop with, laugh with, smell beautiful yellow roses with, enjoy looking at the window at brilliantly red cardinals, or take trips to see other family members with Grammie (my maternal grandmother) anymore. I won’t ever get to feed the ducks at Stanley Park in Massachusetts with or walk the brookside trail in Russell, MA with Great Uncle Friz or Great Aunt Lena (my maternal grandfather’s sister and her husband) ever again. I won’t get to sew with a church friend of ours, Mrs. B., again or borrow the Disney classic “Polyanna” on VHS from Mr. & Mrs. Woodruff across the street.
This brings tears to my eyes, but then I realize that I can still do most of those things, but only with the memories of those who used to join me instead of their physical presence.
Whether we feel ready or not, as it has been said, “time marches on.” Photos are a great way to bring back sweet memories, but I think it’s also important to make new memories each day with the ones we love who are still here with us and enjoy the time we still have with them.
Don’t sit idly while time passes you by or focus so much on the past that you don’t create any new memories. Don’t ever forget the loved ones who have passed on, but remember that there are more people who are alive right now who need your love and want quality time with you.