I get most of my news aurally from NPR and when the kids are not home, visually from CNN.com, so I am just now watching video of people in California returning to the ash piles that were their houses.
People had to evacuate quickly, and their goal was to get themselves and their most precious belongings out intact. And what did they take? When they had less than 5 minutes to get out, when they didn’t even have time to grab shoes, what DID they grab? Their family photos.
Interview after interview, evacuees tell us either how glad they are that they had time to save their photos or how they are mourning the photos left behind. Interviewers ask, “Were you able to get anything out? Pictures…anything?” Furniture, cars, clothes, and even houses can be replaced, but we all know that family photos are priceless treasures.
But really, it’s not even the photos themselves that are irreplaceable, but the memories, stories, and celebrations they represent. For some, a photo of a loved one is the only tangible thing that’s left. Photos link us together with other human beings and give us a way to tell our own life stories. Photos help us remember and celebrate, and be remembered and celebrated by others. Photos link us with the past so we can forge our future.
So even though houses have burned, homes will be recreated – and family photos will be a huge part of that.
If you are not preserving, documenting, sharing, and enjoying your family photos with those you love, please email me. As a Memory Celebration coach, I am passionate about helping people celebrate and share their lives and their stories.
If your photos are so important that they’re the first things you’d grab in a fire, what’s holding you back from enjoying them now? I can help you with that.