Great-great aunt Irene.
My grandfather, his sister, his mother, and his uncle Pete.
My great aunt Edna, her sisters standing behind her.
Many years ago, my grandfather gave me a box of old photographs. We made a scrapbook together as he told me stories of the people in each photo. He told me about life back when he was young. No one had phones or cars or indoor plumbing. But someone always had a camera.
Last weekend I bought a new scrapbook and a package of corners and I dived into that boatload of photos, determined to make a bigger and better book. This was going to be a book he would have been proud of.
I sat at my kitchen table and arranged photos on the pages, thankful for the fact that he wrote on many of the photos. He wrote on the FRONT of the photos. Bless his heart.
The stories he had told me came alive. I began to recognize faces in the many photos I spread on the tabletop. There were faces of the people who raised me. There were faces of people I never met.
And each photo was a tiny piece of their lives, preserved forever.
For a moment, my grandfather was with me again, looking at those old photos and telling the stories he loved.
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
— Aaron Siskind