HANDS down, old photographs, even in this age of digital technology, still have got to be one of the more perfect tools when reminiscing a family’s bygone glorious days.
At the same time, they are as handy as starter kits, especially when you are in the process of introducing new members to the fold and explaining the genealogical maze of the brood.
Just a few days ago, our newly-wed niece had posted a photo online, and it showed most of us with our older folks, in the standard pose our family had always taken during every traditional Christmas morn, group portrait, since we were little kids.
This one though, had been taken maybe about forty years ago, and included were family members who have already left us. One has got to admit, looking at photos like these makes one both haunted and sad. The departed look you straight in the eyes, same as when they were still alive and one could even if vaguely, imagine the sound of their voice or laughter. There is always a silent grief in that.
Looking back, if only we had been fortunate and forward-looking enough to have thought of keeping all these official Christmas morning portraits, a completed series of photographs of any clan would have shown how it had steadily grown and evolved.
The range would have covered from just a few siblings with our parents and grannies, up to our completed crew of brothers and sisters, to be later joined in by a slowly-increasing number of nieces and nephews, our uncles and aunts, eventually in-laws, grandchildren, then cousins and finally, close friends who have become part of our tribe.
In essence, this might perhaps be the best reminder to new generations, with their almost unlimited access to the latest technology, that they store and systematically file family photos so that you’d have a complete set to share with their future sets.
The love of old faded photographs had started as a kid, and I remember regularly poring into old photo albums belonging to my mom of her college days. (I even had a crush on one of her classmates, an American named Bailey whom, weirdly- enough, I fantasized at that time as one I would meet in a “somewhere in time” daydream.) That might have been the earliest memory of my fascination with these faded thingies of the past.
However, not to be totally lost in all the reverie though, let’s not forget the aim of this particular piece: However fleeting the present maybe, with each passing second becoming part of the past, it remains as the only true moment that we are here. The past on other hand, while permanently gone, forever remains as the roots from which we have all grown from.
The future, while we like to perceive it as a state we can prepare for, is actually beyond our control. So, love your faded pic and live your present as fully as you can.
HONORING MY MOTHER
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