“Photographs and memories
All the love you gave to me
Somehow it just can’t be true
It’s all I’ve left of you.” ~Jim Croce
Bum ba da dum, bum ba da dum…the sound of the drums travels across the field, over the ditch, through a few trees, and into my ears. It’s the high school marching band beginning another band camp, and at a fair distance from the school the sound is not overbearing to me. As the drums continue a steady beat, I begin to travel back to a time not so many years ago when our sons were at those practices in the summer heat. Water jugs and sunscreen were their best friends. For me, the beat of the drums is a pleasant reminder, much as the photos that line our hallway–a gallery of sorts. I’m holding our youngest son when he was a baby in one photo, and in the next my parents sit on the picnic table with both of our boys. My husband’s parents and grandparents are in that next photo. Oh, there’s the picture of the whole family when our younger son was home! That sure makes me smile. Sights, much as sounds, transport us to another time holding us captive in the memories. Photographs and memories often are all I have left of people I’ve loved.
Look around today. Photographs and memories are popping up each morning on Facebook if you use that social media, reminding us of special occasions–sometimes happy and sometimes not. If technology came crashing down, if you had to run from your house with something, what would you grab? I would yank every photo in reach into a bag and know that my heart would find solace in so many wonderful memories. You see, my father has been dead for 20 years, my father-in-law for 15, and my mother-in-law since before I met her son. I want my kids to know their grandparents, so we have photographs around the house to remind them of those relationships. Photographs preserve the memories of people I’ve loved.
I remember my first camera. It was in a brown leather case, and my father had brought it back with him after the Korean War. I remember threading the film just right, closing the door, and winding until it stopped, being choosy in the shots I took because my roll of film was not endless. It was with such great anticipation that I would wait for the photos to return to the store. Now, files are on our computers only to be seen if someone is near the screen or on social media. Unless they are also stored in a backup somewhere else, a fire could mean the higher quality files are gone forever. I worry that the feel and smell of a photograph will be a treasure of the past, so I offer to make copies of photos for people, and I keep the printing price on photos for clients be at my cost. Pictures on a screen don’t hold the depth of colors you will see in the paper and ink. Photographs of people we love should still remain when all else is gone.
With gigabytes of selfies filling phones, this generation is surely the one with the most pictures of themselves and the fewest photographs of anyone. MPix, Shutterfly, and other affordable options are here for us to make prints of those pictures. Please do that today–for yourself and for people you love.
They say you can tell a lot about a person by what is on their walls. My walls are filled with photographs of people I love and have loved. I can hear drums and trumpets when I look at marching band pictures, and I am taken back in time. Photographs and memories will someday be all you have left of me and all that is left of you.