Heap of the photos

Reviewing pleasant and difficult times in life are enhanced through photos.

I was surprised to find out I haven’t printed any actual photos for several years.

When my cell phone replaced my camera, I just didn’t print any pictures. I also discovered that operating systems on new computers don’t always agree with my saved cell phone pics. I’ve lost some photos for good.

So, this summer I decided I want a hard copy of my life. I had to go through 1,500 cell phone pics; edit some of them and print most of them.

I didn’t know what I was in for.

The last time I printed pictures was when our youngest child graduated from high school and left for college. Boy were my photo albums missing a lot: dozens of vacations, holidays, family parties and even a few grandchildren births.

Most blatantly missing were pictures of our daughter’s funeral. We lost our beautiful 24-year-old daughter in a motorcycle accident four years ago.

I wonder if I simply wasn’t ready to see this piece of my life in photos. It’s terribly hard to revisit this time period without revisiting those grief-filled emotions. Luckily I’ve had a busy summer with grandkids and family reunions; the joyous pieces of life.

You’ve heard of or read the poem “It Takes A Heap O’ Livin’ “ wherein Edgar A. Guest expresses that it takes having a loved one die to “sanctify” a home. I feel my life is a little that way as I view these pictures. I have mostly pictures of smiling family members and beautiful vistas, but I also have pictures that depict sadness and deep grief.

Now I can look at these pictures. I can place them thoughtfully into photo albums for anyone to view. I experience more closure as I discover the growth and “sanctification” of my life through these photos.

Was it worth it? To go through photos of such a difficult adventure? Of course. Included in these photos are pictures of at least 20 amazingly beautiful flower arrangements and at least a hundred wonderful people who love and care about me enough to travel great distances to support our family. I have deep gratitude for these people. I have great appreciation for the wonderful 24 years we spent with our daughter.

I recognize that I am more complete and whole because of the chance to review this difficult time in my life.

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Jennifer Sant is a Utah high school teacher, energy wellness coach, mother of five and currently grandmother of nine. Contact her at jennifersant801@gmail.com.

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