Hurry, grab the camera! Snapshot! Snapshot of yesterday. Snapshot for the future. Snapshot of moment, memories, dreams. Snapshot!
We sat on the floor next to the old trunk. Sydney, the oldest of my grandchildren, took out the pictures one by one. Boxes of glossy snapshots. People looking back at her. People she will never know. Snapshots of the past. Sepia, black and white, colors fading with time. Not just a history of a family but also the history of photography.
Our brains of full of snapshots. The memories that come in a glimpse seemingly held there like a picture on a piece of paper. Pictures of people who were part of our dreams for the future. Snapshots of people we do not know but give us that instant glance into the past that was our parents. My grandmother lifting me from a high chair. My grandfather giving me the one and only hug I would ever receive from him. A glimpse that is held like a snapshot in my brain.
It is the season of pictures. We each want those special moments captured forever. However, the digital day and age keeps most of our pictures stored on our computers or in our phone. I save all of my digital photos on a flash drive, hopefully protecting them from loss. The twins are awed by paper photos. (They would be even more awed at the outhouse and the party-line phone, but those are other stories.) A new way of looking at our past. We can even change the color of eyes or crop out faces we do not care to see again.
This is all great, but there is something to be said for sitting next to a family member relating the past as each pictures is pulled from the trunk. Questions are asked and answers given from the depth of a loving heart. Sure, I have gotten rid of all of the scenery photos of trips that will mean nothing to my family. Why should they have to go through them someday? I have those pictures in my own memory, snapshots in my mind. What remains in this trunk are the true treasures.
Mom kept many of our photos in the piano bench. They were taken out and appreciated time after time. My grandfather had a pictures basket. And, I have the trunk. Each generation keeping their pictures close enough to peek in at a lost loved one whenever the heart calls.
For we parents and grandparents, the greatest gifts we can receive at Christmas are pictures of our children and grandchildren. For my son, I put all of the digital pictures I have taken throughout the year and put them on a flash drive, giving it to him at Christmas. On my Christmas tree is a sweet picture of my parents with their young daughters.
It is the holidays so hurry, grab the camera! Snapshot memories.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of On Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.