2017 and almost everyone has a camera on them at all times. We take pictures of the sky, of our food, of our babies, of our feet; hundreds upon hundreds of photos of everything.
My friend accessed her old computer god the first time in a while and sent me a photo of the girls I’d never seen before from when we had visited her when they were three months old. I had to check the date on the file as I had no idea how old they were. It’s funny that without a photograph to remind me, already I find myself forgetting what they looked like when they were small.
I had Charlie in 2008 when you simply couldn’t save camera photos so seem to have so few of him in comparison to my iPhone babies. Eight years have passed since he was a tiny dot and I really struggle to picture him as a baby. He is so tall now it’s hard to ever imagine he was able to sleep in my arms, lie on my chest, make me feel complete with his tiny perfectly formed self that I had created.
This is my biggest worry going forward without my Mom. She, like me, disliked having her photo taken. When finding photos for her wake, we trawled the old albums and I don’t recall seeing one of all four of us together. There were a few of me with her and these I hold dear. The ability to soak up and savour how she looked, how her hair fell, her little moles and freckles, her beautiful eyes and wonderful self; sadly only know can I do this with photographs as each day is one further away from when I last saw her.
It’s a horrible thought to know that one day, all you will have left are photos to remember what a person looked like. Yes you have memories but for me to physically hold and look at something is far more comforting than replaying a moment in my head.
I look back at photos of my camera shy Mother and see nothing but beauty. Each day that passes, is one more further away from the last time I saw and spoke to her. These days are always going to multiply; I’m not naive enough to think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. She has gone and I’ve accepted this. A life filled of anger and resentfulness is not for me, not with three babies to follow my lead.
Our generation of smartphones, laptops and social media enables us to capture more moments than ever before. When my phone crashed 12 months ago, I knew I had so many precious photos dotted around various sites that it wasn’t as bitter of a pill to swallow as anticipated.
Take more photos. Be in more photos. Treasure your photos. I know I do and one day? My babies will too.