Lately I've been thinking a lot about life - and how we only get one chance to live it. I have a wonderful Aunt who passed away at the young age of 42. I inherited boxes and boxes of her photos. They are priceless to me because they are remnants of her view of this world that can never be duplicated. Every time I look at them I feel close to her because I am seeing her life through her lens.
She saved everything - like this family photo taken the month I was born. My aunt is to the left of my uncle in the glasses. My mom is to her left. With my grandmother in front of my mom, I wonder if I was here yet...
It is so interesting to go through her photo library because she took so many photos and saved every image her siblings sent her. I believe she has the most complete collection of family memories of all my family.
I love this photo of my grandparents right before a trip (I especially love their clothes and the car).
Even more priceless are these photos of my Grandpa Lillo having fun. This is exactly how I remember him - I loved spending time with him. My parents don't have one photo of him. Without my Aunt, I wouldn't have any either. Thankfully she took the time...
It's amazing - every single family photo taken through the years except a few were by my Aunt. This is incredibly remarkable considering I grew up in Arizona and she lived most of her life n West Yellowstone, Montana. Here's one of me and my parents...
The crazy thing is there are literally hundreds of photos of all her siblings and their families just like this - she has more photos of her nieces and nephews than their own parents do. It is pretty remarkable. In fact, at her funeral we all had a good laugh as her nieces and nephews spoke and each and every one talked about how they just knew they were her favorite. She treated everyone like that.
I also love the images she took that were strictly her view on life and the things in her everyday - her beloved white mustang I rode in so many times as a toddler...
Or this photo of a Gorilla throwing a tantrum in a zoo - on the back there's only a date - November 15, 1974. I wonder if I was with her. Some of my favorite childhood memories of her are zoo outings and going to feed the ducks.
I love this shot of a Saguaro cactus from who knows where - it brings back fond memories of my home state -
Moving day with her friends -
And last but not least, bears like they used to be in Yellowstone - they'd come right up to your car window for food...not that I'm saying that is a good thing. :)
I know these photos may be a boring slideshow to those who didn't know her, but they are priceless to those who did.
You have a view that is uniquely yours. All this work you do to capture your life and preserve memories is priceless. Your work as a memory keeper is something that will touch generations. It is SO WORTH it.
So remember that the next time you are working on your photo library and smile. :)