This holiday I was lucky enough to get to spend a day going through the six boxes of photos and home movies that my Grandmother left us. Two cousins, two uncles, one aunt, my parents, my brother, Mark and I all sat around my Mom's quilting table alternating between reminiscing and questioning. There was a lot of, "Aunt Wendy, who is this?" and "Does anyone know who this is?" But there was also a lot of, "Ooh! Look how cute..." and even more, "Oh, remember this?" Stories and people long dead or forgotten were remembered again. We made fun of old hair cuts and talked about friends and families and camping trips. We sat around and watched home movies on a projector with no sound. The 'grown-ups' struggled and rubbed their foreheads to remember the names of their old playmates, but could easily talk about where they used to play. For a few moments, my Grandparents were alive again.
I love old photographs. I love looking at the faces of the people who were responsible for me being here. I never really knew my great-grandparents, but I love and respect them just the same. Their lives created mine. I get goosebumps writing that. People wonder why I need photographs of them young when I never knew them that way. I need them because I need to remember that they were young. That they had dreams and loves and a life beyond what I know of them. I need to keep the perspective that my life will be short. My grandchildren will look at the photos I leave them and see me young. I want them to be proud. I want them to know me.
So from now on I am going to try to be okay being photographed. My Dad always says that if you don't get photographed, you won't have pictures and he's right. I want to remember. I want to sit down in 20 years and smile the way that my family smiled the day we went through Grandma's photos. I want to be surrounded by the happy memories and the spirits of the people who mattered to me. And I want to always remember that life is very, very short.
P.S. This should be my first week participating in Friday Felicitations but we are going away first thing tomorrow and I won't be able to post anything then. So I will add to this already long post my tentative first post on the subject. Megan explains it like this:
"It’s time to help each other throw out all that negative thinking and acknowledge those things we have to celebrate. Friday is now the day to blog your compliments, your accomplishments, something nice someone said to you, or maybe even something you are stiving to make better."
So this week I'd like to:
- acknowledge the incomparable Thea for starting her etsy store. I am definitely going to own one of her 'Blue Skies' pendants as soon as the money starts rolling in again!
- celebrate my drive to make this new year special and real and abundant
- enjoy that people have told me I was inspiring - sigh!
I'm new at this so I am going to leave it there for this week... love to you all!!