Friday, July 11, 2014

The Purger and the photo album

Below is, in part, a brief excerpt from my book

Photos are to precious to purge
Few things can evoke as many memories and feelings as a photo

I used to think there was no object that could pull at my heart strings, causing me to box it up and shove it in my basement. When faced with the task of downsizing more than once, I learned that memories were made and kept in the heart and mind, not in pillows, vases, and old dressers.  

But unpacking in my latest home has revealed a weakness: photo albums. Photos are a window into the past, a picture of a point in time, a reminder of who we and our relatives are. The more tattered the album, the more sullied the pictures, the more significance the pictures seem to take on.

So, I cherish my photos, even the drunken college shots no one ought to see.  

Several days ago, in a fit of nostalgia, I thumbed through my mom's photo books, where I peeked into life before I was born. I found a wedding photo of my parents, sitting side by side in their get away car. They were in a red 1963 Chevy Corvair decorated like a float, white streamers hanging from windows, mirrors, and door handles.  Even at the young age of 28 Dad was bald, as I’ve always known him.  He sat beside mom, a gentle hand on her arm as she waved and laughed loudly, dominating the space they shared.  Now and for the rest of their life together, she played the role of the extravert, the social networker, the noticed. Dad played the role of the introvert, the quiet yet strong and steady support. He wore a gray suit decorated with a white carnation and a carefully folded pocket square.  His brown eyes and quiet smile exuded happiness.  He was comfortable and in control, a different man than he is today. 

I carefully thumb through the photos, remembering my parents, my younger years. The endless days I spent playing Barbies with my sister.

Yes. Photos are precious.

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