Maybe it is my age but I find that old photographs haunt me. After my mom died over ten years ago, I was given several boxes of old family photographs. It seems right to me – not because I should have the photos more than my sister and brother but because I cherish and protect them. Sometimes before I go to sleep, I pull out stacks and start looking at them. I try to remind myself that this is a recipe for a short night because I always get lost in old memories. They are no longer in any order because they have been looked at randomly so many times. My mom talked about organizing them just as I talk about organizing them. She never got around to it – I hope that I do.
Old photographs mean stories to me. I have an insatiable appetite for knowing details about the lives of those people being photographed. There are many people in my box of photographs who can no longer be identified. Since my mom and her brother died, there is no one left to tell me who some of them are. There are relatives in Missouri but I don’t know them. My father’s side of the family is well documented. My grandmother even collected some oral history – just a little.
One of the things I noticed in the photographs is that my parents took lots of pictures of my sister and me in matching outfits. My mother sewed many of our clothes. We got new outfits for Easter and new outfits for the beginning of the school year and probably others as well. I even have a few precious photos of my two sons when they were little in matching outfits because their grandma sewed for them too. They don’t realize how lucky they were!