Thursday, November 24, 2016

Family Photos--Don't Keep Them in a Box!

Or worse yet, on your phone or computer. What if your phone is lost or stolen? What if your hard-drive fails (and the backup you vowed to do "soon" never happened)? 

A few years ago I was faced with a box (actually many boxes) of unlabeled photographs--pics from vacations, day trips, weddings, and every day family-life events of my immediate family, my parents, my grandparents. Each of these photos were precious and priceless. And I recognized that one day they would be meaningless unless I put them in order and labeled them. So, one-by-one, I began to sort and identify.

But soon I realized that simply knowing the names is not enough. I believe family is so very important--the things that my parents and grandparents did, the choices they made, and the sacrifices they endured (I am 2nd generation American) are the reason that today I have so many wonderful blessings (home, children, and faith).

Once I'm gone, there will be no one to tell their story to my children, to help carry on the messages and the memories. So, in addition to names and dates,  what I know about my siblings, parents, and their families is recorded on the pages.

Christmas is just around the corner. Promise yourself that, starting today, you will set aside a bit of time to go through those priceless photographs. Just 15 minutes a day would make such a difference. It's one of the best gifts you can give to your children, your grandchildren, and to yourself.

"Yesterday is but today's memory, tomorrow is today's dream." Kahil Gibran


  1. It's a beautiful suggestion, Linda, and one I wish someone would have told my mother many years ago, because I'm stuck, now, with a box of pictures, many of which I have no clue what they are or who is in them. Sigh! I'm the guardian of our family's photos, and the guardian is clueless about many of them.

    Having said that, your suggestion is a good on, so I do have some work to do with the photos I do have a clue about. Thanks for the kick in the butt.

  2. Bill, consider this my gift to you. Just keep working at it.

  3. This has been on my 'agenda' since I retired. 2 1/2 years later...nada. Starting in January I give you permission to nudge me when our paths cross. MUST get this done. I too, have many pictures from my parents with no names, no clues. What does one do with those? It seems wrong to throw them away, but there is no one alive that can tell me who they were..... so sad.
    Lu C

    1. Lu, I don't know what to tell you about the unidentified photos. Even if you don't know the names of the people, is there something else in the photo that is worthy of saving and sharing? Perhaps they are sitting on the porch of "Grandma's house", or standing in front of a (once) historic building that no longer exists.

      Luckily my siblings are significantly older than me (there is a gap of 16 years from me, the youngest, to the next in line. And from me to the oldest was 26 years). I have had the gift of being able to hear the stories from them, and get help in putting names to those faces I never met.

  4. Excellent idea, Linda. I've got drawers full of photos in the drug store envelopes in which they came. (Remember having to actually have photos developed???)

    I do have quite a few on my hard drive, which is set up to backup every Sunday. However, I think it'll take years for me to go through all the memories I have stored away in several drawers and on shelves!

    I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

    1. Shauna - This was a HUGE job when I started, but I was recently retired and had time on my hands. Yes I sure do remember having film developed.

      Yes, I did have a wonderful Thanksgiving--visited family and there was a houseful of love. Thanks for asking.