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It’s that time of year when the folks at Facebook create for their users a “year in review” montage, presumably highlighting the most important photos we’ve posted all year.
While their highlight reel doesn’t match mine, it was still a fun walk down memory lane, and as I viewed the images, I noticed something. The photos that mattered most to me depicted simple, every day life moments with my family.
Sure, I loved looking at special event photos. My daughter’s first day of school was so memorable for us both, and we have wonderful photos from holiday?gatherings, birthdays and summer vacation.
But it was the everyday images that made me smile most:
- Exploring the gazebo at the park with my daughter
- Hanging out with grandma in her living room, just talking and reminiscing
- Posing for a silly-faces family shot at a ballgame
- Taking a husband/wife selfie at the end of a long week, when we were inspired to catch the sunset on a last-minute drive to our local beach
As a child I loved poring over family photo albums, studying our story through the images. On a recent visit to grandma’s house, I asked to share the albums with my daughter. She giggled seeing her mommy as a newborn in 1959, or a young girl playing in the sprinklers in 1965. She was intrigued by the “funny hat and cape” mommy wore in her 1977 high school graduation photos.
Then we came to the 1982 album, and I tensed. That was the year my dad lost his battle with cancer at age ?50. I was 22, my sister 23, my brother 18 and after months of not taking photos, there we were, posing for our annual Christmas photo by the tree our mother resisted that year. I look at the image and remember well the feeling of forcing the best smiles we could muster in that year when none of us knew quite what to say or feel.
That year serves as an emotional touchstone for me, a way to think about all the years that have followed. So as I look at our 2013 year-in-review photos, I see the story of a year where the good days have thankfully outnumbered the bad. Yes, there were challenges and tears; that’s the stuff of life, too. Still, I’m so grateful to look at these photos and see smiles that are true.
This New Years, consider taking time as a family to look at your photos of the year just past. It’s a meaningful way to reflect on where you’ve been, and where life might take you next.
For 2014, wishing you and yours a year of photos that reflect happiness, health and contentment.
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