When my spry 92-year-old grandmother moved out of her house, I volunteered to go through the family pictures.
There were enormous boxes upon boxes laden with family history and forgotten memories. It was a treat to be the one to sort through it!
Every cousin, aunt, and uncle had a designated bin for the photos and newspaper clippings that Grandma collected of our growth and achievements. We’ll each get our booty at her upcoming 93rd birthday dinner where we can share tall tales and laugh at hairdos and sideburns from the 70’s.
That’s the beauty of going through someone’s life once put into boxes.
Grandpa was an Avid Photographer
The story goes that if you were in a picture, even just your elbow, Grandpa had a copy made and sent it to you. A Southern Gentleman.
So let’s just say that we grandchildren all had a ton of pictures. And more than enough were taken of each of us being bathed in the laundry sink!
Grandpa also had to have the latest camera. And he kept the previous models stowed away in a closet—no one quite knows why…. So when I showed an interest in photography (after he passed), the family was quick to give me the collection—something I cherish.
That’s the beauty of going though someone’s life once put into boxes.
Grandpa Loved to Travel
Which of course means more photos. Of Hawaii. Of the Canadian Rockies where it snowed in July. Of Japan.
Here comes the dilemma. What do I do with the scenery photos from their travels? They don’t have meaning to the family—we want the ones that include pictures of them. Yet as an amateur travel photographer, I know that rule number one is NOT to photograph yourself in front of every landmark, but instead to capture the place and mood.
How do we reconcile capturing experience with recording family history?
How do I reconcile the reality that we don’t want the travel photos from Grandma and Grandpa’s life; despite the fact that travel is spectacular living?
That’s the struggle of going through someone’s life once put into boxes.
Any ideas? Please leave a comment beneath!