We’ve turned the corner on how our memories are kept. Old photographs stored in albums or randomly placed on edge in a shoe box are holding the images of our lives. The time it took to take these photos and the once-a-year our albums are opened for that walk – the walk that takes you to the back yard or the steps in front of the old house. One leads to another and each picture has a meaning and a story. We were there. We remember that moment, and it speaks the truth. The truth that we were young once and what seems so long ago really wasn’t. We look at those photos with emotion because we know how the story plays out. We move, we change, we grow up or we lose someone close to us.
Some stories are still being told and some we know the outcome. Pictures in black and white of our parents and grandparents tell the stories of their lives and how they became who they are, while our lives transition from black and white to color allowing a broader spectrum to our own life. We knew the importance of those pictures we took and we treated them as such. They recorded us as we really were – young, innocent, naïve and in our natural habitat. Good times.
Not all albums and yearbooks are easy to look at. Pictures can’t lie and they show the good and bad regardless of what’s in it, because the picture is only the beginning of the story. The rest of the story is kept in our memories and some of these stories are hard to tell. As time moves on and our memories fade, it’s these photos that soften what might be bad and hopefully bring back more of the good. After all, it is the story of us. And it’s hard to argue with proof of how we looked, what we wore and where we were. I look at photographs in my old yearbooks and those days seemed to last forever. Looking at them now, I can see it was just a moment in time in the life of a young man who didn’t know where he was going or how his story would be told. I do now – at least up to this page.
Our lives are ever-changing right before our eyes. We take more pictures than ever before and they are brighter and more colorful than seem possible, and this is good. It makes it all easier to remember later in life when our mind forgets those moments. Tell your story and let it be the kind of book you want to read over and over, and be sure and listen and share the stories of those who are near the end of their books – and make sure you include the pictures!