I spent a few hours yesterday evening with a scanner and some old family photos that I picked up at Mom’s on Saturday. They were once part of a wonderful scrapbook that she had spent weeks putting together with mementos and reminders of yesteryear.
Her divorce from Dad left her with no desire to look at all those painful memories anymore, and she took her anger out on the albums by taking them apart and putting the photos in plastic bags. She regrets it now, but the damage is done.
I rescued the photos and have decided to digitize and restore them to the best of my ability. This has included scraping sticker residue off the paper, taping some of them together, removing bend marks and scratches, and adjusting exposure and color.
Mom asked me if it bothered me to look at all those photos of times gone by, and I told her it didn’t. I have to say that after spending some time working with them that they do make me a little melancholy. More about the loss of time and family than anything else.
When I look at pictures of myself from eons ago (like the one above of my sis & me), I can’t help but feel that it isn’t even me. I often have no memory of the boy in the younger photos at all, and feel so removed from that place in time that there remains almost no connection. That beautiful little boy and girl have no idea what the future holds or how they are going to change.
Restoring these photos is a complicated process that will take a huge amount of time, but I think it will be more than worth it to save our memories. After all, sometimes memories are all you have left.