Memories fade, traditions change, people grow apart, and once we’ve passed on, our memories pass on too. But words and photos can live on, if well preserved.
So often people tell me they wished they’d taken a picture of an event, a person, or a celebration. They say this because they regret not having a visual image of a moment in time they wished they had captured. Today, in the days of Smart phones with built-in instant camera access, it’s not hard to take photos of daily life or special events. But to some, taking photos, or jotting down notes to capture these moments doesn’t come naturally.
I’ve always had an instinctual passion to preserve my memories. Whether it’s been through photo books, quote books, journals, or keepsakes, it’s been important for me to physically record people and events in my life so that it’s captured for the future. Certainly it’s easy to take thousands of pictures over a span of time but when you look back at these pictures what will you remember about them? Will you remember why you were crying in one, or why you saved a photo of a cardinal on the tree in your backyard? What about the photo of your child laughing so hysterically he had tears running down his cheeks or a smile on his face? What was happening that prompted you to take that picture? For some, they want to capture the moment in photos and words. They want others who see the photo and written memory to feel as though they are living the moment itself.
Capturing photos and written memories is key in being able to memorialize a moment for future reflection. A photo memory can remind one of how things were and how they’ve changed. They can elicit an emotion of the past or current. This blog is one way I can preserve the stories of my life and the people in it. One day I’ll gather all these stories together and preserve them in printed book form for each of my children. Hopefully through this type of memoir they’ll get to know me more deeply and perhaps more meaningfully.
If you’re interested in preserving some of your memories but don’t know where to start, the best thing I can tell you to do is start simple and small. Take pictures, print them and put them in a small photo album with a scribbled note about what you wish to remember. Be sure to date the photo and note or identify any people in the photo as there’s nothing worse than looking at a picture sometime in the future and not knowing who the people are or when the photo was taken. For you digital people reading this, you might want to keep a Word document with your notes and photo insertion, saving the document as you finish a page. I’ll be writing future blog posts about ways to preserve memories but for now, I hope you find this a good start.
It really doesn’t matter how you choose to preserve your memories. The important part is that you do so in a way that keeps these memories from fading over time. We have the opportunity to tell our stories such that they stand the span of time. When and how will you begin?