Photos and memories…

If you are like me, you take photos of all sorts of things to help you remember. Do they really help you remember? Maybe not so much. I read this article 3 years ago and it is good enough that I saved the link. The takeaway is that photos alone don’t help you remember. You have to go back and look at them if you want to remember them.

My mom spent the months before Christmas 2014 weeding out boxes of photos. Many went in the trash. Some went into albums. The rest went to different ones of us to keep or throw away. Thankfully, mom did not want to leave her photos for someone else to deal with when ‘later’ came.

Mom had one album in her room at Preston Place when ‘later’ did come on 12/23. The kids and I went through it and took the photos of us. I’m sending the rest to my brother and I hope he will enjoy seeing the photos of him and his family that gave mom pleasure.

Mom shared her album with visitors as she told them the story of her life. She had a bulletin board with newer photos (mostly taken by me or Lorna with our phones) and they were also part of her story. Mom wanted prints — a digital frame did not work for her. At the time, that made me crazy, but when I took these pictures off of her bulletin board I realized why she loved them. Pictures that you can hold in your hand are more real.

I’m trying to find the right balance between living in the moment and taking pictures of every moment. The thing is, sometimes a photo catches a moment that becomes a fantastic memory, and it’s hard to predict exactly which photo will do that. And, even though it goes against my wish to de-clutter, I think I’ll be printing more photos.


I don’t remember this photo, and I don’t know who took it, but it is one of the best photos of my mom that I have found. She hated posing for photos and it’s rare to find one where she let that go and was herself.

19 thoughts on “Photos and memories…

  1. What a beautiful photo !!! Are you sure you didn’t take it? That’s one thing I do need to do – and soon. I have 40 years of photos to go through! Seems impossible to have that many. The bright side – at least it’s not all 69 years of my life!!


  2. Beautiful photo of your Mom. I guess you can call me old school but I am the one in my family always taking photos. I’m not in many because I take the photos. People don’t really want to have their photo taken, but I just force them to poise for the camera. When my Mom & Dad left this world, I was sure glad I had all those printed photos of them… did my sister and brothers who wanted some.


  3. What a beautiful memory. I know these memories and photos will be a comfort to you as you go on without your beloved mother. Your family was so blessed to have her in your lives for so long. Photos have been such a help to me in remembering my mother who passed away in 1969.


  4. Thanks for sharing the “spring” moment of your mom….. some pointed points about photos…. into genealogy this year BIG time. Photos are grand – with names even better. Hugs for you, losing mom is just plan HARD.


  5. When my daughter was killed in a car accident. Photos were like gold. I tell people to send pics to people with loss. They are then priceless to the family


  6. My Mom still sits on my heart. It’s funny how we remember all the good times and from time to time one memory or another pops up.


  7. Thank you for this post. Deciphering photos has to be one of the hardest jobs. I’m trying to deal with grandmothers and mother’s photo collection and now my own. At 74 lots if photos. I’m determined not to leave for my children to deal with. Happy New Year. Enjoy your posts.


  8. Dear Becky,
    I was sad to learn of your mother’s passing, but rejoice in the fact that you spent some quality time with her before she left this earth. It is always sad to have to bid “aloha oe” to the ones who have given you the gift of life. I am sure you and your brother willl miss her for the rest of your days.

    Take good care of yourself and your family, and know that your mother smiles down upon all of you as you go about your daily lives.

    Fond aloha,
    Frances Dolph


  9. I loved Libby showed me those pictures, told me stories about it, when those picture were took, how she got there, how much fun she had. She was like, if I don’t remember I have pictures to reminds me that happy times. She had lots of pictures.
    When I visit her ,1st thing she will say “did you look at that pictures?”. That picture she was talking about “Jeff and Celia”‘s new pictures. lol.
    I asked her what is her wishes after she ‘s gone? She said I am going to heaven so just be happy for me. She had good faith. I am sure she is looking down smile at us from heaven now.
    I will miss her witty ,that twinkle smiling eyes when she try to tells me stories.
    She always loved her kids.
    I am glad that I got to know her , I loved her. We will remember her when we look at her pictures.



  10. Morning I have read your newsletter and blog for such a long time, and have so many of your wonderful books, but I have never written..until today. I am sorry for your loss. I believe the hardest loss for a woman is her mom. My mama went home four years ago and I still miss her everyday, still have stuff I would love to share with her and still need her advice and ear to listen to me rumble on about something and then she makes sense of it all. We are always daughters. What a treasure you have in this picture. Such a simple lesson for all of us to capture those sweet moments that we take for granted. Blessings.


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