As much as I enjoy taking photos, especially of my family to scrapbook and reminisce over time and time again, once in awhile I like to be in those photos. But the older I get, the fewer photogenic opportunities there are for me…or so I think…because the roadblock is usually me.
Like most little girls, I wanted to be a beautiful “princess-bride-ballerina”. I wanted the long flowing locks of hair, the perfect white teeth, the glamorous (and poofy) dresses, and the diamond tiaras. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want those things now too. But when I see myself in photos or my reflection on storefront windows, I cringe a little. Ridiculous, you say! But even as you are saying it, are you applying it to yourself as well? Can you see the amazing beauty in those around you, but obsess forever on your own (perceived) imperfections?
This weekend, I spent time with my Mom flipping through a few albums of old pictures…really old pictures. I even met my great-great-great-grandparents on my Dad’s side, a side I really haven’t met before. There were pictures of my great-grandmother, who I never met, arm in arm with her sister, who was a little old lady by the time I met her. They were young and full of joy, and I caught myself smiling back at them. And yesterday…yesterday I looked at recent photos a church family shared with me. The photos were stunning, but also bittersweet because the oldest boy (not much older than my Little Guy) has been fighting cancer. We have seen God work miracles in his body, and his heart. His faith makes my own seem incredibly small; he is such an inspiration. This is probably his last summer with his family, and these photos of him laughing and hugging, tussling with his brother, kissing his baby sister, climbing in the playground – these photos, these mini “moments captured in time”, will be indescribably precious one day.
The group, GreenDay sang : “So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind. Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time.” Maybe it’s time to do more than make memories. Maybe it’s time to set aside our vanity long enough to capture moments for our families. They may laugh at our fashion sense or note how time changes our physical forms. But they may also remember and share the stories that go with the picture (like the one of my great-grandmother crying because her sister got to sit on Mommy’s lap instead of her). They may search our faces to see if they can recognize a piece of themselves in the reflections. Will my sons want pictures of our family as we are now, to show his children some day? Will my great-great grandchild want to see if we have the same eyes or the same smile? Could these photos that I carefully dissect and tear apart, every wrinkle and every roll, be indescribably precious to someone tomorrow…or some day? After all, each moment only lasts one heartbeat at a time – we don’t know what may come to pass in our immediate or distant future.
I certainly want to be remembered for laughing and loving, for spending time with my family, and for finding joy in every season of life God grants me…
“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.”
OK, I admit…I probably shouldn’t document every moment…but I certainly had fun! 😉