Going through old pictures always brings back some of the fondest memories. Going through some of my old journals always brings back the memories of some of the more difficult parts of my life. This simple realization helped me realize how I shy away from the camera in tough moments and turn into myself. I avoid the crowd and seek the strength needed to survive. I take a step back and find my inner voice and wait to hear from On High because either the path is already tough or I see the struggle ahead.
The ease of having all of your pictures on your phone, tablet or computer causes us to miss out on the tangible feel of going through memories. Of opening up photo albums and telling the good stories and maybe some of the bad. After last nights rendezvous with a box of old pictures, I have decided to make an effort to print more pictures, place the ones I have in albums and pull them out when my friends come by.
Sometimes I lament in the pain because within those moments there are so many teachable points but there are just as many teachable moments in the joy of life. Some of my fondest memories growing up, were on 89 Collins St. My grandparents took pride in their 3 little granddaughters. They loved and cared for us as they had done for their own children and other people’s children for many years before. They gave me the foundation I needed to get through those moments when I would be going through life alone. I was my grandmother’s mini-me, her pride and joy (I’m sure my cousins will disagree). I left to live with my father but I always missed being with my grandparents.
When I look back and find the few pictures that I have of her, I know Irma would be so proud of me. She was an educator and taught with such joy. She was so sweet and funny and the reason I love candy so much. I carry her with me in my name and in my heart. And only the pictures I found jogged these memories. I can write about it but seeing her smile makes me feel a sense of comfort that words cannot describe.
My grandparents taught me that love was not a romantic novel but the quiet moments together enjoying the evening news, making your side of the bed when you got up in the morning, but most importantly, holding your spouse’s hand through those tough times. They taught me the meaning of sincerity, through sickness and in health, til death do us part. Those words are a vow, but also a charge to remain invested in your marriage.
I put their picture on our dresser as a reminder that we are in this for life. To help jog my memory when times are tough and I need to smile. Next time you and your friends or family get together, pull out the albums, the pictures, and tell some of those great stories that come to mind when you see a certain image. Share the memories and take note of happiness within those moments. That is what we live for. We learn in pain but we live for joy. Be you. Do you. Tell your story. On your own terms.