Friday, January 13, 2012

Photo Memories

This week I went home and spent time with family and good friends. I didn't get to see everyone. And as much as that makes me sad, I'm also glad because it gave me a bit more time with my nearest and dearest. The last time I came home, I was involved in a flurry of activity related to my brother's wedding. This time it was just me and I got to wander down memory lane and remember some of the things I love most about home.

Mom and I, years ago at Milestone River in Bowen Park.
Going back, through the lens of someone who wants to record family history, really crystallized something to me: I have always loved family stories and photos. I love how looking at photos with family can unearth some amazing tales, memories, and tangents. For example, this picture above reminds me of this:

  • My grote-tante (great aunt) Riek's visit from Amsterdam and how amazingly inspiring she was to me at the time. She was 80 and about to take a bicycle tour of Denmark when she returned home from Canada. She'd also visited the Amazon and married late in life after following her own adventures. She embodied much of what I wanted for myself at the time.
  • She sent the photo to my Mom, saying that she loved it because she loved our backs in this photo. And I agree. I love this shot, so I just had to take my own copy of it. What you don't see though is that my Dad (stepdad) is standing in the far left corner, watching us with a huge smirk on his face. She captioned the photo: I wonder what Bill is thinking. I'd wager a guess that he was amused by our antics.
  • This photo also reminds me of my Mom and my childhood because we used to visit this spot often when it was just the 2 of us, living around the corner when I was 4-5. We used to swim in this river sometimes, have picnics here, and I used to believe that the big holes in the rocks above where old bear paw prints. 
  • It also reminds me of sugar shacks and French Immersion school days during early elementary because they happened in this park. 
  • My Mom tells a story of how when she was young with my real Dad, they would slide down this waterfall and that there are great seats in the rocks for the water to wash over you. Funny, she never let me try it... 
  • The red top reminds me of my Mom's love for red and how red has permeated my life on all levels for as long as I can remember. From her kitchen to her scarves. For years I resisted loving red because it was my Mom's colour. But I have to admit that I have since caved. I love red, partially because it reminds me so much of home and love and safety. Not the typical passionate associations, I know, but there you go!
  • And best of all, from my Mom's face, I can hear her laugh and am reminded of how special that Mother-Daughter relationship is and how far we've journeyed together in this life.
I think this is why I love and value scrapbooking so much. Because I love photos and what they bring to life and record. This year, more than anything, I want to be able to capture those stories in my scrapbook pages. So that when I feel sad or homesick, I can flip through my albums and laugh over the love and life I've, and by extension my family, has lived. And having gone through some of Mom's albums, I've stocked up and am ready to go!

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