Why it’s important to print your images. | Full Circle Moments
I’ve always had a young family. My Great Grandma had her children young, my Grandma had her children young..my mom had her children young and for as long as I can remember, my Grandparents were always “youthful”. As a matter of fact, up until several years ago, I was fortunate enough to have had 5 generations alive and well. I would see other people’s grand parents and then I would see mine and think DANG my Grandma is young. She was able bodied and would be in line for the highest, fastest, scariest roller coater with the best of them. No one in my family was a photographer-or anything close to it for that matter-but they did know the importance of taking and keeping photos. Some of my fondest memories were sitting at Grandma’s living room couch with photo albums spread out all over the coffee table. We’d flip thru the pages with Great-Granda Sandolfini until our fingers smelled of that awful clue they used to keep the photos behind those awful cellophane pages. I’d point to images in the photo album and ask who is that, or what is that picture of, or why did you take that and she’d always have a story to tell me about it…then that story would lead into another story and before you know it, she could have basically written a book with her words. I would listen trying to take it all in and lock it into my memory. I created these ideas of people whom I had never met based on Great-Grandma’s story and the images I saw of them. Then came the day when she couldn’t remember those stories. She couldn’t remember the people in the photos, what they were doing in the photos or why she would have snapped those photos to begin with. The only proof that the moment even existed was because of that paper print.
Fast forward many years later and I’m seeing it all over again, this time with a different Grandparent…the REAL story teller of the family. If you’ve known me for any amount of time, chances are that you met my Grandfather or as I like to call him, “my pap”. You can’t forget him because he was often wearing his signature camo shirt or white tank top with his black beanie hat that he used to cover up his bald head. He used to tell us he was bald because he was scalped by the Indians. We believed him for so many years. He was often very tan because he was always working out in the sun and he could tell you stories for days. He’s done everything, saw everything, experienced everything, knew everyone….you catch my drift. There was a story for E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. I’ll be the first to admit it…sometimes it was SO ANNOYING but at least then the stories made sense.
About 4 or so years ago he suffered a stroke that landed him in the hospital and rehab to learn to walk again. He’s never really been the same since. His stories are becoming more odd, his memories aren’t as sharp and on some days he just doesn’t make any sense at all. On top of that, he’s not-how do I say it- the most pleasant person to be around when he gets frustrated…and that’s A LOT lately. His body, his mind or his personality aren’t exactly the same. We often take our frustrations out on the people we love the most and for that reason Grandma usually takes the brunt of it. “For better or for worst” she tell us…but I can tell it’s taking it toll on her and her health. For anyone who has had to be a caretaker, you know exactly what I mean.
Even though she’s with him every day…she misses him….the old him and all the moments they shared together when he was more well. There were so many nights of dancing- and oh man could they dance. Not that “bumping and grinding stuff” (as they would say)…the proper dancing that we see on dancing with the stars. He’d swing her around on the dance floor and steal the show no matter where they were. If you ask her the one thing she misses the most, she’d tell you it’s the dancing. I’m sure she had no idea that the last time he spun her around…it would be the last time he spun her around like THAT. We have so many photos from nights out like that and I never realized that those silly photos we took after having a few too many beers, all those crazy New Year’s Eve parties would mean so much to me, and her…….and US.
A couple of years ago for Christmas, I made my grandma a photo album of all of their happy times. She cried when we gave it to her. She tells me she flips thru it often when she’s frustrated because it helps her remember the good times and the old Pap.
For me, this is like a full circle moment because one day, I’m going to take those same albums, point to them just like we did in Grandmas living room all those years ago and tell my grand kids stories. I hope from those images and my words they can get an idea of just how incredible their Grandparents were. I’m going to tell them that someone cared about them so much that they printed the images onto paper so that it could be around long after their memory failed…..long after they were gone. That they wanted the world to know they existed and how amazing their time was together. This is where you come from I’ll tell them.
Print your photos….be *IN* photos…….create more photos. People pass….memories will fade. Someday it’s all you’ll have.