Saturday, February 6, 2010

Past Lives for The Present Ones

As I sit here looking at piles, no...mountains, of photographs to be creatively placed in my grandkids scrapbooks, I find myself wishing that my family members before me had been as enamored with the history-keeping. Oh yes, we've got some photos, glued with something like "Liquid Nails" to the black pages. One or two of the pictures have been labeled, but the majority of them are not, so unless we recognize the faces or the places, that history has been lost.

In my feeble attempts to keep up with my hobby, I not only adhere my loved ones faces to lovely, acid-free papers which in some way coordinate with the visual aid, but I date them and pen a brief journaling of what was happening to whomever is pictured there. If the story is longer, I generally type it out on the computer and give the story a page of it's own. This is my way of sharing past lives with the present ones....and preserving ours for future souls.

The kids love to see their own pictures, as well as each other's. They laugh at the clothing they were wearing or grimace at the way their hair was done. They enjoy remembering the events or asking questions about people, places or things. I enjoy spending that time with them, as we turn the pages of our lives, reliving our histories and those of our ancestors. I feel that they should know who their fore-family members were and how they lived. It is a history lesson, but it doesn't 'feel' like one to them. They are curious about life the way it was before the technologies that they live with entered our world. They want to see the faces of the people who they call Great-grandpa, and his parents, and their parents, because they were gone before the children were born.

There is so much to do, so many things to share, so much that I have to tell. It is a joy for me! I do, however, have an aching within my chest to know more than I do about the every-day details of those who were gone before I arrived. No one can give that to me now. I must work with what I've got and fill in the blanks with assumptions that their lives were lived in much the same way as others of the time period. I learn from those who did not leave those facts to me, however unimportant. I will add as much detail about 'today' as I can find time and thought for.

As I look toward that mountain of photos, I think it's time for me to leave this writing, and get busy. It will be a race for time as it is, and there's not a minute to waste. I'll see you later.....