Photograpy: The Memories Live On
Here she is--Precious Sister 3 years ago
Originally I had written this article after visiting my precious sister in Austin, Texas. The picture below does indeed capture one moment of the most memorable times we shared during that visit 4 years ago. We laughed and laughed and probably cried some too.
One thing is certain---it is a time that I am so very thankful for now probably more than then.
Two Sisters, Making New Memories
We do not remember days; we remember moments.— Cesare Pavese
At present, one of my most adored sisters has lost 40 pounds since January---she is truly a mere shadow of her former self. She is weak and frail and broken.
Do not misunderstand.. She is not despondent or wailing, "O, why me?" She is just sick and tired of being sick and tired. She would not put it that way but that is how she is feeling at present.
What a Special Woman She is
My precious sister (and that is how I so often address her) has been sick for at least ten years off and on. She would be treated for this or that and bounce back for a bit. Then before I knew it, she was sick again. She has always been a fighter. Some little illness (even if it was not so little) was not going to get her down.
She would spend almost 30 years saving lives as a Paramedic. She saw and handled many broken and injured or seriously ill over the years. And she came to be loved by many as she was excellent in her work and was respected by her co-workers many of whom were male. At the time she was working as Paramedic, women often did not have supervisory roles. But because of her work ethic and skill she had numerous positions of authority. She often mentored newbies to the field be they women or men.
What Fond Memories We Share
Over the years, my precious and I have remained so very close even when time and space have separated us. No doubt, some of you have a similar relationship with a sibling.
You can finish each others sentences. You have similar mannerisms. You enjoy many of the same interests. You have your own unique talents. You can be scrappy with one another when some touchy subject comes up ----I mean going at it---hot and heavy---and two minutes later all is well on the home front.
Back in the day before we had cell phones, we spoke on the phone daily. There was no particular time for the call or reason for the call except to tell something that was so important it could not wait another minute!! I would answer the phone, saying "Hello, Teresa". And it was she. It worked in reverse too. I would call her and she would say, "Hello, Padi" before I spoke a word. (Neither of us had caller ID.)
Walking the Planet Together
As it does, the years slip by. But through that passage of time we have remained as close as if we lived next door to each other. We have traveled to numerous locations to have vacations together and we have traveled to each other's homes to be tourists in each other's towns.
We have walked through sadness together---holding each other's hands which offered much-needed comfort. Knowing that the other person was hurting and needed someone with whom they could ramble on or be silent with was how we weathered storms. My sister lost two of her children who were adults by then within 2 years of each other. It was a difficult time to understate the situation. Thankfully we have been so close that we were able to walk through that horror together. Both of their deaths were unexpected.
Thankful for Private Moments
And now, my precious sister who is seven years my senior is very ill. And I am so thankful that I can be here in Austin with her. She has been in hospital all week and hopefully will come home tomorrow.
We had a poignant, heart-wrenching talk today. She knows how ill she is. And we will find out definitively tomorrow whether the cancer has spread which is appears it has. And she said to me today that if it has she will not fight. She said, "My body just is too weak." Why endure horrid procedures which in and of themselves could shorten the time she has left on the planet? I said earlier she has always been a fighter. And she has fought this assault on her body that has diminished her body so that she now has no strength to continue.
We held hands and we sobbed and sobbed. And she said how glad she is that I am here with her.
"I would not have missed coming here for anything," was all I could choke out. She said, "it's okay for us to cry' which it is indeed. But not remaining in sadness within a few minutes we were laughing about something silly we remembered that we had done together.
When she is home from the hospital we will do whatever she feels like doing but she insists she wants to be up and moving. She is quite handicapped (although she would never want anyone to say that!!) so walking has become quite difficult and now that she is so weak, it is more challenging The good news is she has been approved for a special walker that will help her move around better.
Not one of us knows when our moments on this planet will be done. And something I have said in my writings probably too often is this: Today is all we have. No promises for tomorrow so trying to shoulda' woulda' coulda' the future is pointless. Bathing in the beauty that surrounds us and enjoying our walk on the planet has been and will continue to be our mantra.
How very blessed I am that I can share moments with her while she is still able to engage with me. Although if that time passes while I am still here being by her in silence will be fine. She has a precious daughter on whose property she lives. So I know when I leave to return to Florida that she will be fussed over as if I were still here.
Maybe you are puzzled as you scroll up and look at the title again. Why on earth include this rambling about my sister in an article about capturing special moments through photos?
Simply put it is because all of the photos I have of her when she was well and much more able-bodied are even more precious to me now. How thankful I have them.
Out of respect to her I am not publishing in photos of her now. She may not even care if I do post some but I just do not think it is something I want to do.
Hug and squeeze and adore those you love every single day. Too often we do not say what is in our hearts and minds and then it is too late. Your family will not need you when they are gone. If you have a loved one or close friend you have not connected with recently--do it while you still can.
So many memories
We do remember the moments.
But there are some days that are burned into my memory...some that I wish were not there but are all a part of who I have become.
Thankfully, most of them are fond memories that warm the cockles of my heart.
And how wonderful it is they can be held in time digitally or in a hard copy of the photo or a wondrous video.
A Favorite Memory---Heston Wayne, my youngest grandson, loved putting puzzles together at the library
Cockles of My Heart According to Merriam Webster.com COCKLES OF HEART refers to the core of one's being —usually used in the phrase warm the cockles of the heart. My grandsons and my daughter create this feeling within me as do other special moments.
This Photo Brings So Many Memories to MInd....My Daughter, Husband, and I Were in Japan at This Time
Countless changes happen during the finite amount of time we are on the planet. Family members die, friends die ...it is the way of things after all.
Not only do we have loved ones leave us but many times places we lived in, played in, or frequented are torn down. Often some new use for the land is made. Sometimes the buildings are even used for some new purpose rather than being demolished.
Recently I read a hub by our very own, Bill Holland, billybuc, here on HubPages, about a place that played what one may say is a pivotal role in the life of his family and many others. The link to it is provided.
His writings were the inspiration for this entry. Thanks for the inspiration, bill.
"And time waits for no one, and it won't wait for me
Time can tear down a building or destroy a woman's face
Hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste
Time waits for no one, no favors has he
Time waits for no one, and he won't wait for me ..." These lyrics from the Rolling Stones song remind us that time's passage moves on one moment at a time.
Passing so Quickly
Time is so fleeting
Time can be elusive and out of control. One of the few things we cannot control.
Days turn into weeks and months and years while we are there, in the midst of it all. One day we are only a wee child of five years of age and in what seems no longer than the time it takes to blink, 30 years have passed. How can that be?
My grandchildren are great ways to remind me of the passage of time. It seems like five minutes ago I was holding my Jay who is now 24 in my arms when he was newly born. And now I look at him and he is no longer that extraordinary little boy. He is now a remarkable grown man.
A few days ago, I sent my sister a photo of him holding his brother (it is my profile picture). She has not seen either of them for about four years. She wrote back and asked: "Who is holding the baby?" And of course I said, 'It is Jay."
She did not recognize him. He is no longer the little boy that we have adored all these years. Our little boy is now a man.
You know of course he will always be a little boy to me in some respects.
Albums Filled with Memories and a Kitty to Supervise All..
Photos Everywhere ...
On my shelves and on coffee tables are photo album after photo album. On my laptop, on facebook, on my Droid are an abundance of photos.
Photos that have stopped time for a moment. Often for a most wondrous moment, a birth, an anniversary, a birthday, weddings, holiday celebrations, and yes, even at the time of a funeral. Those once in a lifetime happenings are frozen in time for us to relish at some later time and to share with those who may not have been present.
I wish I could freeze time or go back in time and watch my kids grow up all over again because it is just going by too fast.
Perhaps we have all felt this way at one time or another...ps— Robert Rodriguez
My daughter and my youngest grandson, Heston Wayne, at his first cookie party
Momma and Child
This photo was taken the year my grandboy was seven months of age. He is on his Momma's lap at the annual Christmas cookie party.
His Momma's red hair is a symbol of her strength. She had just grown that little fuzzy head of hair back after many rounds of chemo.
She stopped taking that legalized poison as it was doing so much damage to her organs.
This adorable child joined our family about a year later. And that is how long it took her little head of hair to appear too.
How I adore this photo.
Some Memories are Best Left in the Past
In the photo with my family (below), I weigh 256 pounds. I am in the yellow shirt on the far left.
O, I shudder as I look at that.
But it serves as a reminder that I do not wish to be that version of my unhealthy self.
A Treasure....My Nephew (in the front row)
A Glimpse at the Past
The memory remains.
The place or person may be in some far distant past.
The place or the most loved person may have been whisked away from us far too soon for our liking, but, time stands still in those photos.
The four-room schoolhouse that stood in the middle of a few acres down by the waters of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia is long gone.
Torn down many years ago and nothing stands in its place. The ghostly image remains there though. The two- storied white building with windows on all sides and a bright red brick stairway that led to the entrance still remains, captured by my mind's eye.
The children racing down the steps to the playground at recess time. The cheers as the kicker sent other runners home still echo in my mind. Time falls away. The years melt away. I am that little girl who attended Deltaville Elementary School.
That building is gone. But the memory will not be erased until none of still walk the planet.
And even then those who find photos of it in a box of photos stashed in Aunt Peg's closet will conjure up those days that kids began their education in that place.
A Lovely Place to Find Time to Catch Our Breath and Revel in Nature
Sometimes something as simple as a bench that stood in the yard of a loved one and is now in our own, freezes time for us.
The bench in the photo was built by my nephew and his Momma not too many years ago when she had gone to live with him. It was a favorite spot where they would sit in the evening while the pups were in the backyard sniffing every blade of grass visible. Soaking in the calm and listening to the gentle lull of my sister's voice as she recounted some tale to him made my nephew's eyes sparkle
That bench is now in my yard...my precious nephew, my sister's only son, left the planet too soon just a few years ago. This bench reminds me of the lovely moments that were spent there and the new moments being created.
It is now a lovely spot for me to relax for a few minutes, enjoying the calm there. And Gretta, my inherited pup, comes up for a little loving while I am there.
And when baby grandson visits, he loves to climb on it and be 'king of the mountain'. He even takes a few minutes to sit by his Nini to tell me some important story.
New memories, captured and remain.
In a town* where I once lived, a massive oak tree stood in the center of a two lane road that had four lanes intersecting. It was said to be about 375 years of age which makes it somewhat of a young 'un when compared to the Seven Sisters Oak in Mandeville, Louisiana. Estimates have its age at 1500 years.
Despite the relative youth of this tree that stood in a not-too-busy highway it was a part of history for those who lived there and had treasured its stature and beauty.
As often happens, a bigger idea, a better plan by the estimation of the city fathers and mothers, a vote was taken and the decision was that the town would best be served by the removal of this tree the town's people had grown to love. Protests, chaining themselves to the tree, more protests, shouting at city council meetings came to naught.
Progress won...or did it?
The beautiful tree lost. The town's people lost. And now when you get to the that intersection, you will find it is now the intersection of multiple lanes and abundant traffic signals.
Too many little ones missed out on the first hand experience of marveling at that beauty.
The memories remain. In books and in old photos that many took of loved ones gathered under the tree.
(*The name of the town and the state are omitted because while this was not a good decision in the view of many, the town did make many other wise decisions. My intent is not to disparage the town. )
Words Freeze Time as Well
In one article that I have shared here on HubPages, one suggestion that was made is to record on tape or video or hand write the stories of your family members NOW.
Within each family are stories that are humorous, inspiring, chilling, filled with sorrow, adventure...
Take time to record them and transcribe them later.
Elder family members love to recount tales of days gone by. And there is so much wisdom in what they have to say.
Much of what you may not know about your family or town can be learned from your loved ones.
Your Mommas and Daddys and Grandparents have a storehouse of wisdom and fun and knowledge to share. Record it before it is lost to you and future generations.
Photos and words can transport us to a time and place that we have tucked in our mind. Seeing the photo or reading a letter or story about that time from the past may bring a rush of feelings to those who experience them.
Each new day brings a new opportunity to discover and experience something unknown about our families. Often we say "Someday I will do that... no lost memories for this family."
Perhaps 'someday' should begin today.
© 2015 Patricia Scott