If I could spark some inspiration during the holidays, this would be it
A few weeks ago, during a trip to our local mall, I spotted the usual Santa clause photo both. When my daughter was a lot younger, I made it a tradition to take a family photo with Santa. Usually, I would give copies to my mum. She loved photos and appreciated the gift of time they created. But somehow, that tradition slowly dissolved with age — as most conventions do. My daughter became older, I got a little more cranky, and the years seemed to slip away. It wasn’t until my mother passed away that a thought flickered into my mind. I knew her time here would be minimal, and I intended to take as many photos of mum in good health as possible. That’s when the project began to take form amid regret. A lot of the photos I took were, unfortunately, visible of the after-effects of cancer. But I took as many as I could anyway and told myself that today was all I had and that anything more would be a blessing from God. When she died, I looked back on several photos over the years. I filled my bookshelves with as many images of my parents as I could — mostly when they were younger. The memories of these moments warmed my heart. I could easily forget the inevitable death each of them had experienced. During that trip to the mall, my heart began to speak to me again. Out of nowhere, I said to my daughter, “ I think that we should make it a habit to take photos with Santa again.” She looked at me a little odd and said, “Mum, you know I’m 15 now; you don’t take photos with Santa at my age — it’s embarrassing.” I got her point of view, but I looked at this a lot deeper than her teenage self could understand. “I know, my love, but all we have left when someone passes on is the memories we keep from photos taken,” I said back to her. I thought that might spark a bit of sympathy in her heart, and the logic of her mind took over. “But mum, I’m not going to die anytime soon, so don’t worry about starting Santa photos again. We can’t even sit next to him anymore because of Covid.” I had to laugh at this light-hearted and yet logical teenage talk. But, my heart still didn’t settle. My regret still ran deep, and I didn’t want to miss a thing from that moment onwards. The saddest part of a person’s transition is regretting lost memories that become fragments long gone as we age. I’m not going to be young forever. The only small part of a memory we might have is that of a beautiful photo left behind. The smile, laugh, the person we love who is experiencing happiness or a moment of joy is something we can tap into through a photo. These images keep us going, thinking of the good times we shared with loved ones, long before disease or tragedy. I wish I had taken more photos of mum. She was the one person that was my absolute joy and my best friend — the one I’m missing right now, as Christmas and the New Year draw closer. When The End Of Life Is Close And There Is Nothing More To Do — Just Love My heart told me to write this message to anyone that may take the time to read it. Take out your phone, camera or anything you have and snap away at catching as many memories available to you at any moment. The moment we are in now is all that we have — in an instant, it’s gone and forever forgotten. Keep those image memories with you, revisit them, print them out and put them all around you. This small image conjures up a memory, dissipates the pain in your heart and brings light back into your eyes — knowing you spent a precious space of time capturing love in an image. Merry Christmas to everyone.
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