Sunday, November 1, 2015
I have kept a photo album/scrapbook most of my life, particularly after my daughter was born until now, 21 years after she died in a car accident. I try to keep it up to date, but find myself only putting it together two or three times a year. I now have 24 albums. Oh, yes, I keep everything in order from birthday cards, play handbills, concert receipts to photos of the trips my husband and I go on each year to my latest project, keeping all photos of my step-grandson growing up (my husband’s daughter’s son). I love this child like he is my own, and since I can no longer keep anything new from my daughter, I concentrate on photos of the grandson, who, because he lives so far away, I only see two to three times a year. (We do Skype every week, and it’s almost like he’s here next to me!)
But this is only background to the point of this blog. Yesterday was one of the days I found time to sit down and put all the things from the last six months into my newest album. Looking at all the items now in place, I smiled. They are such good, precious memories. It made me want to look back at some of my other albums that had my daughter’s photos and things she gave me in them. I took my copy of her wedding album from the closet and carefully looked at each beautiful picture. With those memories in place, I then decided to look at an older album and found one where she and her future husband were brought to a vacation spot by my husband to surprise me on my birthday. I kept digging and found my daughter at her 21st birthday party, her 20th birthday and all the way back to her first party.
What a joy it is to have these long forgotten memories through pictures that I can look at any time I feel compelled to do so. What makes it extra special is that if I’m having a bad day, (and I still have them) looking at some of these special photos and cards, like the one for Mother’s day that says, “You’re the best Mom for trusting me and letting me do what I choose, even if it turns out to be a mistake. I love you,” put a smile on my face and in my heart. I know I didn’t keep everything, but there is enough.
As I dug deeper into the albums, I was also able to find a few items that I’d forgotten were there that may come in handy in future endeavors. As an example, I am a photographer at heart and may find a good use for some of them.
I am so thankful that I kept all the items that I did. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should get rid of anything or everything that is part of the child you lost. Don’t let anyone say all that memorabilia is of no use to keep anymore, and that a better use for the space it takes up can be found.
My answer to those people is that I find everything I have to be of great sentimental value, and I have no intention of getting rid of it. They are a reflection of the past, my life and my family. No one and nothing will take those memories away from me. They will stay in my albums and in my heart, right where they belong.