Friday, May 18, 2007

Then and Now

Yesterday, I was looking through my photo albums. I needed pictures for a project I am currently working on. As I looked through the albums and re-lived the memories of each time in my life, I started to think that when I have passed on, whomever sees my albums won't know the significance of the people or the events. I try to label the backs of photos with the names of the people and the dates, but that only goes so far in really understanding the moment in time captured in those pictures.

For this reason, I have decided to start a small journal of sorts to file inside my photo albums so that anyone looking at them when I am gone will know who is represented and what they, and the events pictured, meant to me.

This idea got me thinking about the people who have come before us and those who will come after. Right now, in this present time, we are living joys, sorrows, victories, defeat, pain, and happiness. So much goes on in the seasons of our life and sometimes we feel like we are the only one who has ever been through such pain or has ever experienced such joy. It gives me comfort to know that many strong women and men came before me; people who suffered, celebrated, kept on going when it seemed all hope was lost, and came together at births, deaths, christenings, and troubled times.

I am both proud and humbled knowing that the strength of those people is with me several generations later. I have learned from them even though they were gone before I was born. They made it and that means I can too. My ancestors did amazing things. They left homes and even countries sometimes to come to new places, to experience new things, to make a life somewhere completely different than they had ever known. They traveled through difficult landscapes, sometimes losing their family members on the way. Still, they trudged on.

Knowing how strong they were, how much they suffered, how much joy they touches me to be a part of such a line of people. We are not alone in this life. The people who came before us have so much to teach us if only we think of them as more than strangers in an old sepia-toned picture.

We can only hope that future generations will see us as more than a picture in an album. Whether they be my nieces, nephews, or the children of dear friends, I want future generations to know what I went through, what I survived, what I took joy in, and what I celebrated. That will ensure that they know they too will survive no matter what and that life is always punctuated by more joy than sadness if you keep looking forward while you are weathering the hard times. That kind of link to the past is always strong and always necessary.

1 comment:

Shelby said...

I think this is a beautiful post!