Here I sit on a Friday night, listening to four teenage boys in the living room playing video games, working on moving years worth of pictures from my old lap top to a hard drive and my mac book.
It must be done and I have put it off for well over a year. I knew I needed to relocate the pictures before the laptop finally gave up the ghost, and today I was looking for pictures from a CPO event in early 2012, so I figured I would kill two birds with one stone.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I take entirely too many pictures, and today I realize this more than ever. I have 20 pictures of my kids in almost the same pose because I put that camera on sports mode and go for broke, always in search of the priceless picture. It annoys me when I have to search through the countless photos to picture the perfect one.
However, today as I worked on transferring the final months of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, I am grateful for every picture I took during this time. The reason for this is that if it were not for these pictures I would not have one lucid memory of this time period. I was so emotionally crippled by the loss of my mother I in no way filed these memories in my memory bank. Now you can look at these pictures and see my physical presence and even my smile, but I cannot without the aid of these photographs remember these events.
As I look back over the photos I am grateful that I have them, and I am again reminded first of the impact that such a loss can have on your life, and second how your mind and heart protect themselves when you go into crisis mode.
It also causes me to think, what other life events I might have missed out of because of my grief, or during other times when I was carrying some stress or emotionally challenging situation. Do I have pictures of every little thing that I missed? Thinking of how precious life is and how easy it can be overlooked because of extenuating circumstance that affect on how you see your surroundings.
Looking particularly at the photos we took the week of my mom’s funeral, you can see the strain on our faces, even in the smiles. Some may find the photos of us at my Uncle Bobby’s lake shooting guns a bit strange for my family. However, they tell a story. From the first picture where you see my sister and niece walking down the road to the lake to the last group photo, you see my family’s strength and perseverance. You see my Uncle Bobbie and Aunt Kris are my parents closest friends and my Uncle took my mom’s passing very hard, and he was amazing in knowing that my family needed to get out of the house. He knew that the break from death was what we needed. That we needed an activity that would encompass us all, that would get us together outside away from the stress and pain of grief. So he loaded us all up, drove us to the forest, and gave us guns! And it worked….we all shot that gun from the youngest to oldest. We bonded and laughed over bullets and targets, we took deep breaths of fresh air, and we felt a little something outside of grief. The whole week was the longest of my life, but also the most amazing. I love the people in those pictures with my whole heart and I am thankful for the strength and unity that you see in those photos.
I am thankful tonight for my almost unexplainable desire to have my camera every where I go taking pictures of everyday occurrences, because without that desire I would have totally lost a year of my life.