Of all the material things we have in life, few things mean more to me than the photos I collect and hold on to.
These are images that I inherited from my grandmother. Many of these people I never knew, but I feel connected to them. It feels like they are a part of my story. In looking at the dates on many of these photos, most are over half a century old, with even a few dating as far back as 80 years. And look, here they are. They exist. All these years later. And how interesting to ponder that they are now a prized possession of a descendant many of those pictured would never know. They’re my family. I don’t know many of their names, their occupations, or their stories…but I feel connected to them. I wonder what they were like, what kind of activities they enjoyed, or what their favorite foods were. I wonder if they ever thought when these pictures were taken that they would have any sort of impact beyond their day-to-day lives at the time. Probably not. But, the fact is they have. Through these images, I feel attached to a legacy. Their stories are not my own, yet because of them, I exist.
Do you ever wonder who may be intrigued by your story 60 years from now? Who will hold your images dear even though you’ve never met? Because I do. I hope someone wonders about me and the stories attached to my life…and that someone would be there to share the stories on my behalf. I hope that I build a legacy and leave it behind to ripple into the lives of my grandchildren and great, great nieces and nephews. I hope they have an image to hold, instead of a hard drive that technology limits them from accessing anymore. I hope my story is felt even if I can’t be there to tell it.
My grandfather passed away recently. He is pictured below next my beautiful grandmother. The pictures I have of him mean more to me now than ever, and so do the stories I think of when the pictures are there to remind me of him. Even though he is no longer with us, his legacy lives on through images and stories. And for that, I am thankful.