That was her last Thanksgiving. She passed away the following June.
Every time I look at this photograph, I close my eyes and hold it in my hands up against my chest. I'm taken back to this very moment when my grandma is smiling. She's a bit cold, but she so happy to have her family there supporting and loving her. See, my grandma was the glue to my family. All she ever wanted was for her family to be together. I start to feel the ache in my stomach as a rush of emotions overcome me as I get a rush of memories flooding my mind. Then all of the sudden I begin to laugh when I open my eyes and see the photo again. I remember the moment right after this photo was taken when we realized my grandma had her shoes on the wrong feet. We all laughed that day. If you look closely, you can notice it too.
She and some other family members had come down from Indiana to visit. She had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. And while her cancer journey is another story for another time, I am here to tell you what this photograph above means to me. Let's take a trip down my memory lane...
It was November 2012. Thanksgiving. We decided to have a "cancer will not defeat me" photo session. My grandma was one strong woman and she was determined to beat any illness that struck her. I captured this image of my grandmother during that shoot. She always so proud of me and told me I had a gift. I can still remember this day like it was yesterday.
IMAGINE a world with NO SHOEBOXES FULL of PHOTOGRAPHS that you find in GRANDMA'S CLOSET. IMAGINE a world with NO PHOTOS HANGING on the WALLS.
I'm a FIRM BELIEVER that PHOTOS aren't meant to live on a screen. Just like your PARENT'S and GRANDPARENT'S OLD PHOTO ALBUMS that you LOVE, your PHOTOS should be PRINTED so FUTURE GENERATIONS can ENJOY them, too.
Having an album is something tangible to relive your memories and pass down to your loved ones for generations to come. Your album will become a family heirloom, something that will be held and cherished forever. These will the storybook of your life. The start of a legacy that you get to tell your children and grandchildren all about your day. About what kind of wedding cake you had, your first dance, the people that were there and all the wonderful feelings that made that day so special.
We may live in a DIGITAL AGE, but that DOESN'T MEAN YOU or FUTURE GENERATIONS should have to MISS OUT on flipping through OLD FAMILY PHOTOS, learning more about EACH FAMILY MEMBER.
Through memories, we get to hold on to all those wonderful moments filled with tears, fear, joy, and happiness that we never ever want to forget. Try as we might to never let those precious moments slip out of our minds, but as we grow older we collect even more memories. It is evident that we can’t keep all of them. We can only hold onto them for so long before our memory begins to fade over time. If we are lucky enough, we will find a way to preserve these important memories, securing them from the dangers of aging and forgetfulness.