What are the things that really matter when reflecting back upon your life? For me one of the answers is my family and the memories I have growing up with them. I just spent a week in Florida visiting my Mom and Dad who are both over 80 years old and super active. In fact, they actually have more energy than me and I am over 20 years younger.
My dad retired as Director of Shibley at age 79 and one of his hobbies became family photography. On the garage walls and in the house he has so many family photos dating back to the generation before him and right up to the present day with captions that he writes. He has this priceless photo of his parents with the dog he grew up with named Pinky. Next to it he has a picture of my sister’s dog Sammy, with the caption “Pinky’s nephew”. There are so many photos of my brother, sister and me at different stages of childhood and into adulthood.
My father was the director of Shibley for over 50 years so he has old photos from camp picture days going back to 1960. I can remember that on each camp picture day Dad would get us from our groups and have a picture taken of me, my brother, my sister and him. Also on the walls are photos of all the grandchildren as they were born and grew up as well as pictures of the nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Those early childhood years are so precious to me and are definitely etched into my mind. When I look at the old family photos, it stirs up so many happy memories. A picture has the ability to bring you back in time to relive those wonderful experiences. It may only be for a few minutes, but very special none the less. I personally like to go back to my old neighborhood where I lived from age 2 through 13. I sit in my car in front of my old house for a little while and I feel like I am back in that time period. It always puts a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.
I can visualize playing baseball with my friends as well as the many other activities we did. In those days there was no such thing as play dates or computer games. You just played outside all day until your parents told you it was time to come in. If it is not feasible for you to go back to your old neighborhood, you always have the power of the old photograph to bring you there. Looking ahead, it’s almost spring… so warm weather and summer camp cannot be far behind.