I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Smile, Cry, Remember—Preserving Memories

I am proud of my grandkids that range in age from a few months to nineteen years. I look at our oldest grandson and my thoughts fly back in time. Devon has always reminded me sharply of his father, our son Chris. When Devon graduated from high school last year, we were proud. Yet I shook my head at the passage of time. There is no doubt, Devon is a person in his own right, becoming a man who still gives the best hugs.

Yet, some of his facial features mirror Chris’s at that age. When Devon was a toddler, he got into his family pictures, spreading them all over the floor. That meant Chris’s baby and growing up pictures were mixed with the newer pictures of Devon. I was told that without the markings of the who and when I tended to add to the back of pictures–even ones I gave away, telling pictures of Chris apart from those of Devon would have been next to impossible.

Pictures take us back to times in our life we remember with sadness, joy or with a smile as a simple picture opens the floodgates of memory. The importance of pictures makes me concerned about digital photos. How many never make it to the print stage? How many are permanently lost when someone dies?

It is why after a celebration, family or other memorable event, I sort through pictures and create a collage of text and photos. These become touchstones for memories. These days, I make copies for Keith’s dad, now in memory care. I am making albums for my younger grandkids. I already made albums for my older grandkids, each focusing on their individual lives. I add articles I’ve written that apply or simply add thoughts and memories.

When we’re gone, I want my kids and grandkids to know their loving heritage. When we don’t know our background, we lose a piece of ourselves. This void is why adopted kids, even with loving adoptive homes, often search for blood relations. Today, DNA profiling makes this a bit easier.

Take time to remember, preserve your heritage for yourself and your family through journals, verbal stories and through preservation of pictures—noting who, where and when. You and your family will be glad you did. Especially when you pull out the tokens of the past—and remember. I recently finished an album about my brother Paul who past away unexpected in January. I’m sure I’ll go through it many times and cry, and smile and remember.

By Carolyn R Scheidies

Published in Kearney Hub 4/29/2019



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