“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.” Brian Jacques
People often laugh at my habit of taking photographs for seemingly no reason at all, but from where I sit now, I am so glad that I did. So many memories are preserved in sharper detail than my mind could hang onto without help.
The other day I got out the digital photo frame that Jeff used to keep on his desk at work. It had been packed up with the many framed photos and other items that he brought home after retirement, and we never got around to unpacking it during the few months he had left.
Jeff was a notoriously difficult person for whom to choose a gift, because he didn’t really want much. This was one of the gifts I gave him that he most appreciated and enjoyed. The nearly 700 photos I had loaded onto it in the beginning were meant to be supplemented with others, which turned out to be just another good intention. But those 700 photos featured a lot of variety.
Going through such memorabilia is slow work for me, as I can only handle it for short periods of time. I was a little afraid to plug the frame in, and indeed, watching it did bring waves of sadness. However, as the lovely photos of our family, friends and travels scrolled on, the sadness was alleviated somewhat by the wonder of all those years together, all those memories. I heard my voice saying aloud “What a life we had!” and it was more an expression of thanks than a lamentation.
I have the digital frame sitting nearby as I write this. I don’t plan to unplug it anytime soon. It brings both water and sunlight into my life.