Pictures. Not just any pictures…..old pictures that stir up something deep within your spirit. Pictures which force you to revisit a time in your life that may have been happy, sad, or indifferent. Either way, the pictures make you go back in time…..back to that place. Last week, my sissy blessed me with restored photos from my childhood. I found myself feeling all sorts of emotions and became a little teary.
Maybe you can relate.
My childhood was far from perfect, but it certainly had its good moments. We now live in such a hectic, crazy,and often cruel world. However, I saw the pictures and instantly remembered a different era in time. I remembered picking up pecans with my grandpa, makeshift cardboard clubhouses, blow-up swimming pools, sliding down the levee on boxes, riding bikes, hula hoops, craw-fishing, walking trails, and evenings sitting on the front porch while my grandma played old albums inside of the house. Pictures are definitely memories.
Look at the picture above. See that timid little girl with the yellow shorts, messy hair, and a pot belly? That’s me. This picture resonated with me because it reminded me of the innocence of youth. However, pictures can also remind us of youth taken away much too early. They can remind us of simpler times, times of struggle, happiness, and of course…….heartbreak. I stared at my little face. My mother lost just about every picture of us in a fire, so to see myself amazed me. I was beautiful. That other cutie on the left is my cousin and the one on the right with the great posture and sunny smile is my sister….always together…even back then.
The above picture shows my family without the heads cut off. Standing from left to right was my Uncle Walter, Uncle Harry, my grandpa (Murriel), my grandma (Ella) and my Aunt Dorothy. My sister, myself and my cousin are of course below them. Everyone except us girls has since passed away. Something about these pictures made me see how quickly we pass through this earthly journey. Our loved ones are here one day and gone the next. What do we have left? Memories. Memories that may be in the form of videos, images, trinkets, places, or only in our hearts and minds. Yet, there is something about a moment frozen in time. A captured moment that you can visibly see when your memory can’t function like it used to; an image that reveals what you wore, how your hair was styled, the smile or sadness in your face and the faces of those you love.
As I continued through the photos I found anther image of myself and my sister. We were doll babies. Why we had on disco size earrings is beyond me, but my mom was a real girly girl. The last photo is of my grandparents when they were very young. They were together their entire life and loved each other dearly. We often see our grandparents as old and forget that at one time,they were just like us. Once again I found myself thinking about how precious life really is and the importance of living each day without too much worry for tomorrow. My grandparents were not on this earth forever and neither will you or I.
In spite of the many less than desirable periods of my childhood, the beauty of being blessed with a life, family (no matter how small), love, and a chance to make mine better, overshadowed the painful moments. In that moment I cried happy tears…tears of thankfulness….tears that screamed….But God…we did quite alright and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Yes my dear, pictures are definitely memories.
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