I’ve been sorting through moments. The kind caught with a camera. And we all know what happens when you sort through photographs. You look and you remember. Memories flood your heart and mind and you keep looking through the photos and you keep remembering and you smile and laugh and want others to look at them with you.
Then there are the photos that you’ve never seen before of people you loved and that loved you. You see these moments and you wonder then you learn something about the people in the photos.
Another feeling comes when you look, really look, at these moments gone long ago. It’s a strange strong feeling. And it’s a new one to me. It has some yearning in it, mixed with a little sadness and some happiness……..restlessness too.
But it’s good to remember because as Frederick Buechner wrote, “…even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.”
My favorite photos are the ones I’ve never seen. The photos of people and places and happenings before I was born.
Like this school picture of my dad from 1956. He was 14. His dad died when he was 14. I don’t know if this picture was taken before or after his father died.
Or this picture of my mom with two of her five sisters. She is the tallest one. Mom had two brothers also. She was the baby of her family and she was a daddy’s girl.
Or the one of Mom and Dad on a beach somewhere. That’s Mom in a green bikini! I never knew Mom wore a bikini but Dad always wore a hat.
They’d lived a lot of life before I was here. They had the same experiences common to all of us. Joy and pain. Sorrow and regret. Infatuation, rejection, hope and despair. Friendship and betrayal. Fear and love and faith.
Then I became part of their story and they lived more life and we had more joy and pain. Regret, fear and sorrow. Faith, hope and love.
Now they are part of my story.
“Memory is more than a looking back to a time that is no longer; it is a looking out into another kind of time altogether where everything that ever was continues not just to be, but to grow and change with the life that is in it still. The people we loved. The people who loved us. The people who, for good or ill, taught us things”. Frederick Buechner