A happy belated Thanksgiving to us all! Ma and the kids were propped atop the old oxen cart while the uncles stood guard over Pap who proudly showed off the Thanksgiving bounty. Hmmm…pictures like the one above enable us to remember days gone by. They refresh our memories, allowing us to cling a little longer to the ones we hold dear. The faces and places captured by photography live on through the power of sharing. We are but caretakers of memories and should not see ourselves as owners of old family keepsakes and photographs.
On this Thanksgiving, I ask you to honor the memories of times past. Make sure your photographs are labeled and dang it, spread them far and wide. Copy them, make more copies, digitize them and make them accessible. Don’t just put them on Facebook where the images are compressed with each sharing, but rather use Flickr or some other image sharing software.
And how many photographs do you have of family who split away and are no longer close? Make sure those photographs make it back to family whose lives would be brightened by such reunion. Use the act of sharing as a means of mending fences. Open your eyes to see beyond your own front door. Reignite conversation. Keep your ancestors alive, keep the family strong, and make sure you reach out to help others whose story is no longer told.
And about the image above, I’d like to say it captures my own family history, but it does not. The picture could have been taken at Thanksgiving but I know it’s not so. The photograph captures my wife’s ancestors in the late 1800’s Montreal Canada and I don’t think little girls living in Canada would be dressed in November the way they are in this picture.
How others celebrate their special times tell us much about our own memories. It’s important to share your pictures so that others can enjoy your memories as much as you enjoy seeing theirs.