2014 sits on my doorstep…just a day away. The date is mind-bending, since I remember being excited for 1969. Nevertheless, it is one of those times when most people take stock of their life, remember the good and hope to never repeat the rest. So acting on such a sentimental impulse, I started scanning our family slides into digital files. In doing it, I found that the film may have faded, but the memories never did.
Fishing trips without make-up or style, perfumed with trout always framed the picture of my childhood, along with family dinners, unprepared flash shots, new babies and holidays. If life was a baseball game, I would say I am comfortably sitting at the top of the sixth after enjoying a loving slide into home, and just like a real game, some of the players that came up to bat were only one time all-stars, not staying for the whole game, but bringing a win. Likewise, my parents are again young, their cars now considered vintage and oh the clothes! Regardless of the exposure we allowed back then, I wouldn’t change a moment and I’m proud of how I turned out… despite and because of it
However, a sadness did creep in, as I remember wanting to get this done for my mother, giving her the same happiness in her life, which had become empty after my father passed away. The plans I had for a movie night with her, laughing at cat-eye glasses, scarves and skylines, all of which are no longer around, never were to be…because neither is she. Unfortunately, the quick pace that followed her accidental fall cheated me out of that date night, but I know she is here is spirit, along with dad, both laughing and loving at where we once were.
This silent reunion with my family has been nice, but such a journey is always best shared, while the soundtrack can be provided, with memories, laughs and tears, bringing full color to the black and white film as it faded into red-tinted Kodachrome. Sure, I have a sister via email, so we laughed at many of them through words, like the first 1965 “selfie” my father took trying to figure out his camera. Maybe we weren’t side-by-side, by we were heart-to-heart, loving the assorted memories, which after all was the reason dad took all those crazy pictures in the first place.
Going into a new year, I’m happy that the old ones are coming along in my old kit-bag, and there will now be times in the future when I can easily email or post them, offering up a time that might have relevance in a modern moment. Maybe in years yet to come, my daughters will see them and shake their heads. They might not understand the time that was, but they will have a blueprint for why their mom was who she was. Who knows, they might actually see a little of me in their own aging reflections, in between this life frozen forever on film. If they do, maybe they will finally realize I didn’t just live…I had a wonderful life and have more than a few negatives to thank for it!