Our children may never have this experience

I was cleaning out a closet yesterday when I came across an old shoe box full of photos and negatives. It was such an amazing flood of memories as I sifted through my high school and college years.  Photos of grandparents who are now gone, photos with messages handwritten on the backs, and some great blackmail! Here’s an example from my tap dancing days.

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I snapped a few pictures with my camera phone and sent them to people in the photos. I had NO idea of the response I would get! Here’s one of some friends from their dating days.

Ten years, and four kids later she sent me this response: “I got so excited about this pic, I immediately showed it off to a bunch of people at church and forgot to respond to you. Where did you get this? Thanks for sending this. Dave’s computer crashed and off went all of our pics from when we were dating and the first two years of marriage.”

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Do you have a similar story? Have you lost digital images? I have. The moral of the story: print any photos you care about.

You’ll need some tissues before reading about the next one, so let me know when you’re ready. Okay, below is a wonderful woman who passed away fifteen years ago leaving behind five kids ranging from kindergarten to high school. You won’t believe the timing of the shoe box find! It was no coincidence.

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The daughter-in-law: “Thanks to a wonderful friend, Anne, this was given to us via fb just in time for today. I wish she was here to celebrate her birthday but I know she’s where she’s supposed to be. She was a woman who gave her all and showed strength I have never seen since. This photo shows her exactly as I knew her. All out for Christ. She was a mom I dream of being and the loss of her still echoes here on earth. It will be 15 years this February and there are times when it feels like it happened just this morning. Christy Bliss, you were one of a kind and continue to be my superhero. Your prayers that you prayed for your children are still being answered and I am still seeing them come to fruition. I can’t count the times I wish I could call you up or maybe even get frustrated with you as you give parenting advice. This time of year is so hard because I see so many very involved grandparents and know how much you would’ve loved to be so involved in your grandkids lives but rest in the fact that I’m pretty stinkin sure you picked them out for us.
I am so thankful that your bible teaching is still ringing in our hearts and minds. You are very loved and missed.”

My response: “I had no idea it was her birthday today! She must have been thinking of all of you.” 
DIL: “Anne, I swear memories are strongest of her close to her birthday. They start coming in October and it could be passed off as the holiday season but we don’t get that into the holiday season because family isn’t that close. Memories, for me, get especially strong, and missing her too, the closer we get other birthday and the wave of mourning ebbs after her birthday around Christmas Day. Even on years that I forget that it’s her birthday today this seems to happen. She definitely has a presence in our lives even if we can’t see or talk to her ya know?
What’s really funny is yesterday I told Ben that I didn’t want to do photography anymore. It just hasn’t been something I can be excited about as much anymore. Then you posted this picture and flooded me with reminders of why I started doing photography to begin with. We have many photos of Christy when she was sick and few of her before. I don’t want that to be the case for anyone. God used you big time yesterday with this photo.”
I like to think that Christy was not only worshiping in this photo, but she was also reaching out to embrace her children and the grandchildren she never had the chance to physically hold. ❤

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