Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved spending time with my grandmother and mom looking through old photos. My mom and grandma would tell who was in the photos, how we were related, and what was going on at the time. Those photos brought them back to the memories they were making. It brought them back to the days of their youth with the people they loved and grew up with. Within their storytelling, I was transported back to those times. I could see their eyes light up or fill with tears when talking about certain people and times. Their voices changed and you could just feel what they felt. I have always loved sitting with them and listening to their stories about my ancestors and their childhoods.

A few photos of my mom’s childhood.

This tradition of storytelling through photographs has been ingrained into me. I remember even just a couple of years ago, my mom found some old photos in her room and we sat on her bed and looked through these photos for a while. She told me stories about her momma with tears in her eyes. She told me stories about her older brothers and the times they had with laughter in her eyes. I will treasure the memories of sitting with her, looking through these photos, as much as she treasured the memories of her childhood.

A few photos from my childhood.

Now, I feel like it is so important to print out my photos. All these little memories will add up in the long run and there is nothing like going through a physical book or shoe box full of photos. Even when I am by myself looking through them. I can run my hands over these memories and make them come alive again.

Shoe box full of memories.

When my friends and family are visiting, we almost always take the time to go through these photos and remember the fun times we had. We take out shoe boxes, albums, and scrapbooks and pore over the photos. We share anecdotes and laugh about memories we would have forgotten saved in these photos.

There is something so connecting in sitting with your loved ones, poring over photos and remember the times you shared together. There is something enriching to sit with those that came before me to learn about their lives. To hear the stories they have and to just connect with them.

Verbal storytelling and human connection among physical photos is so important to me. It is a way to keep the memories of my loved ones alive no matter how many years pass without them. I hope that my photos will be kept with love throughout the years and the ones that come after me will be able to pass along our memories while making their own.

Photo Albums

 

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