Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Lost in Time

I think this is what amnesia must feel like.

I sat down with several large boxes of family photos last night, part of the clean-and-organize chore I finally got around to, and in what seemed like minutes, I looked up and it was literally the middle of the night. I had lost a large chunk of Day. Fortunately, I hadn't moved from my spot in the easy chair, so I didn't have any explaining to do to the cops or anything. And I did have a couple of things accomplished: easy chair now cleared and available for sitting in, and several boxes almost empty, but for an ancient scrap of paper or two. But the journey I took while I sat in that chair spanned over a hundred years, punctuated by laughter and tears.

The job today will be to go through the piles more carefully, making stacks for Ted's growing up pictures, my childhood pictures, my grandparents, their grandparents, my sisters and their broods (all beautiful, btw), and somehow make some order in all of it. Like file maintenance on my computer, this can be a little tedious, but the real challenge for me is staying out of the tractor beam of memories. Without setting some reasonable time limits, I can detach from today, and allow myself to return to those places or times when I was a carefree kid, loved by my family, and enjoying special sights or events. I can imagine being around at the turn of the previous century as my grandparents and great grand parents were homesteading in the wild territories. I can look into the youthful eyes of relatives I never knew and wonder what they loved or hated about their lives. I can love and miss my mom and dad who went to heaven earlier than I wished, and with whom I long for conversation.

Today, I have duties and responsibilities. But when those are over, I'm going back to the stacks for another dive into my history. My past, and my people are some of the greatest gifts in my life.

So really, this is the opposite of amnesia - it's memory overload. Bring it.

4 comments:

  1. I know the last thing you need is another social network on the computer to keep up with, but you might consider starting an ancestry.com or myfamily.com sight to load your pictures to. There are free versions of both sights that would easily allow your family to share stories and pictures. Or with your lack of time, perhaps Emma might be interested in exploring...

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  2. My Mom did that task years ago. I will forever thank her for it too. There are some of the people from very long ago that I did not know or not remembered. She carefully placed them in separate photo albumns in order. Now it is so nice to go thru. I is wonderful to put dates and names together with the photos!

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  3. That's a good idea, Terri. I had an old piece of geneology shareware that I started using years ago to line everything out, but when floppy disks went the way of the dinosaurs, so did all my hard work. Loading it to the internet seems like a much better plan. I know every new kind of storage media will eventually pass away, but we can do our best to preserve this stuff for as long as is reasonable. Emma didn't know nearly as many of her relatives as I did, and that's a shame. This is the only way I can teach her about her family.

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  4. Aaahhhhh . . . isn't the journey great, though? Enjoy.

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