It seems, all of a sudden, that all the parents are feeling the need to pare down their lives. They are simplifying their lives, so that some day, when they are gone, we don't have a huge amount of work to get rid of their lifetimes.
My Mum's project this week, is to go through old photographs. She's gotten rid of a ton of them. But she's also kept a large amount of important ones. Now comes the question, what to do with them. I'm an only child, as is my cousin. Mum set aside a number of pictures of her sister, my cousin's mother, and her husband, both of whom have been gone for 24 and 35 years respectively. Mum wondered if she should give them to my cousin, or would they be a source of pain for her. They talked about it, and my cousin said that she wanted them.
I'm a computer geek. And a photography geek. I love looking at old photographs. Growing up we would spend the weekend at my grandparents house. My favorite thing to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon was to look through the photo albums. I loved seeing pictures of my Mum growing up in England, pictures of ancestors that I had never met, pictures of my cousin as a little girl.
After Mum mentioned she was doing this, it occurred to me that I had few pictures of my uncle. And that I had a scanner at my disposal. Thus started the quest to scan as many photos as possible. But more importantly, I sat with Mum going through the photos. A lot of them I remember from my childhood. But there were also photos that my Nana never had. Like the ones of my Mum that Dad had taken in Montreal during Expo 67, where she was wearing a cute little green & white Sixties style dress. Or the one photograph that exists of when Mum was pregnant with me (you can't even really tell she's pregnant, but the date puts it in the right time frame). Or the pictures of my godfather, who was so young at the time that I didn't recognize him. Those were scanned and shared with his daughters, who were thrilled to bits, having never seen pictures of him from the Sixties.
Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Yesterday is a memory, but at least I have sat with Mum and made the attachments to those memories.