The box full of photos from my stepmom's house arrived and it was heavy. When I opened it I found hundreds. My nephew who had cleared out her house had not known what to save or not.
Many were to be discarded. They were friends of my parents that I would see once or twice a year when I visited Florida and hold no sentimental value.
About 50% were to be kept. I must label the ones with aunts and uncles, long gone. One was of an uncle, who had been dead twice the number of years he lived next to one of my cousin as a tiny girl. She is now older than I am.
There was the wedding picture of my dad and stepmom and many of my late sister from the time she was a little girl through many visits when we were all adults gathered for family holidays.
And there were some I had sent them of my daughter in various stages of development as well as those taken when we were all together. One photo had Llara and my dad on their stomachs watching TV. Memory says they were watching the Pats play football.
Another I'd sent of a Christmas with Susan, Betty, Kirk, Jim, Llara, Hiram, Eva, Bill, Sam and two Japanese chins. Now only Susan, Betty, Kirk and Llara are still living--and me of course. The capture of happy times, happy lives which are fleeting in the course of the relentless flowing of time.
I understand why when people lose their home to a hurricane or tornado, what they mourn most is the loss of photos. They tell our lives as much as our stories do.
They are also a reminder of how precious moments are with those we love. I must remember not to squander them.