When All You Have Left Are Photos

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.

When All You Have Left Are Photos

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.

B xx

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  1. William Gould
    25th January 2017 / 8:46 am

    My wife still struggles with the loss of her parents many years ago, especially on their birthdays and at Christmas.
    I agree about photos as long as it’s to record special moments and not everything, including what they had for breakfast, as a lot of people seem to do these days!

  2. 25th January 2017 / 10:21 am

    its been 15 years now that my dad died,and all i have are photos,but i feel they help me feel better x

  3. Sharon Jackson
    25th January 2017 / 10:22 am

    I’m terrible for photos, I take them as often as I can, especially of my daughters as they grow so quick. I myself hate having my photo taken as I get older & I’ve never been the photogenic type. But it’s wonderful to look back on all our wonderful memories from years ago. It would destroy me if ever I lost them.

  4. 25th January 2017 / 11:10 am

    My baby photos were taken nearly 30 years ago, and of course were on film not digital, and are sadly fading. Trying to get them all transferred onto files so I can at least save them before they get worse.

  5. Helen Moulden
    25th January 2017 / 5:19 pm

    I try to capture every moment that I can, knowing one day people will be gone. The only issue is with everything digital now I’m terrified I might lose my archive. I have about 8 backups!

  6. Julie Scattergood
    28th January 2017 / 1:04 am

    This brought a tear to my eye. I’ve always preferred to be the one taking the pictures, rather than appearing in them. There are very few with me in them. I will make a conscious effort to change that now. I’m glad the photos of your lovely mum bring you some comfort.

  7. Zoey P
    28th January 2017 / 9:25 am

    I’m always the one taking them never in front. love looking at old photos, this year will be making photo book of our holiday but also 2017 book too. Good read

  8. 18th February 2017 / 7:45 pm

    I’m dreading this day my dad is my world and I am so lucky to still have him in my life. 🙂