Monday, December 28, 2009

A Picture is worth a 1,000 words.

My father has been a professional photographer most of my life. He has taken amazing photographs and made visual mementos for people to cherish. These photographs, moments in time to never be forgotten, are in homes all over this county, this state, and even the country. There are photographs on walls and in albums of loved ones and precious moments preserved.

My father took pictures before the digital age and made many of his photographs with slides. Growing up there were a lot of photos taken of my brother and me but not a lot of photo albums. Through moving and packing and unpacking the slides were put away and many of those tangible touchstones were forgotten, until I said something. (I know, me and my big mouth).

I wanted to see them. I wanted to have a record, something to show my children and perhaps one day my grandchildren of my mom and dad and my grandparents, my family.

So my father, because he rocks like that, complied. He went out to the barn and salvaged 10’s of thousands of slides and for the past month he has been going through them one at a time. Technology finally caught up and he was able to transfer many of those slides to digital images and now they are mine to print, frame, look at, blog about, or just remember.  The Wednesday before Christmas he unveiled the first wave of memories for my mother’s family.

There were pictures of my aunts and uncles and all of us cousins, together at the holidays, at Sunday dinner, laughing, growing, but there was someone else. Someone who has been gone for over many years who really was the lifeblood in our family.

My grandmother, Irene.

That's me and her opening presents many years ago. I'm probably "helping" her open hers. She would let us do that (can you say spoiled much?). 

She was the matriarch of our family who slipped away too soon to Alzheimer’s. My grandmother was Christian when Christian wasn’t cool. She loved her Jesus more then anyone I knew. She was not afraid to tell you about it and she knew scripture backward and forward. She was the first woman I ever saw write in her bible (I didn’t know you could actually write in it) and a light would come into her eyes when she talked about her Heavenly Father.

I got older and so did grandma and I became rebellious and a “know it all” attitude came between her and I (I was the know-it-all, not her).  I lost out on so much wisdom and guidance because grandma was just old and didn’t understand (sound familiar?).  Yes I wish she was here to see, to listen and to talk to, but I think she lives on, in my mother, in me, and in my daughter and nieces and will for generations to come. 

Now, three generations later, her great-granddaughters will never get to know what a wonderful woman she was, but hopefully, through her grandparents, her parents and aunts and uncles, we can impart some of my grandmothers' wisdom and will probably repeat a lot of her prayers over our own children and grandchildren and maybe, just maybe one of them will look back on one of us when we are gone and say, "because of their words I was able to do _______".

My father gave me back those memories and I can almost feel her when I’m sitting at my dining room table with a cup of coffee and my bible. I pray that one day she and I will get to sit in heaven and have one of her “come to Jesus meetings” but the cool thing will be, Jesus WILL be able to come and I think that would just tickle both of us.

So right now, think back, with the year coming to a close and a new year about to start, who has poured into you either recently or in your past?  Who inspired, prayed for, encouraged, or even sat you down and had a "come to Jesus meetin" with you?  Is there anyone that can say you did that for them?  It matters and will matter for years to come in ways you can never imagine but God can.  So listen to that nudge to sit down your kid or grandkid or friend, sister, or brother and tell them what you believe.  Speak Truth into their lives, even if it doesn't look like they are listening, you never know what will happen when you plant that seed.  My grandmother did and it took almost 20 years for it to grow and I'm still pruning but she helped plant and water those first seeds. 

Thank you Grandma for all you poured into me. Although you never would say, “I’m proud of you” because it wasn’t right to be proud (Proverbs 16:18) I pray that you will know how much your words, your wisdom, but more then anything, your prayers did for me. I love you Grandmamma, and thank you Daddy, for giving me back the pictures to go with the memories.


Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!!

Susanne said...

so sweet!