All Tom Brechlin has to do is look at his photo wall to remind himself how grateful he is.
I just read the article “When Kids Graduate, Parents Celebrate” which prompted my thoughts to write this. It prompted me to think of the many milestones my own kids (now 27 and 29) had through the years. I got up from my computer and walked to my foyer and gradually walk up the open staircase and look at the countless family photos hanging on the wall. Photos dating as far back as my own parents wedding (more then 80 years ago) to the most recent of my grandkids. I have so many photos that I’ve now expanded the gallery to run the length of the upstairs hallway.
How things have changed… Where in the old days, we’d have professional photographers come and take pictures of the kids and sell a set of photos which included many wallet size and in those days a “TV photo set” which was a gate folded display of pictures that you would put on your console TV. Most of us had everything from brownie cameras to Polaroid’s that would spit the photo out the front within seconds. My wallet was thick, not because of a wad of cash but the dozen photos that I would have of my wife and kids.
How things have changed… Walk up to any person who has a cell phone and ask them if they have a picture of their family and with a couple of quick maneuvers, they pull up countless pictures of their loved ones. Special and not so special moments are captured in moments. I just checked my own cell phone and I still have no less then 300 pictures saved. Saved? What am I saving them for?
How things have changed… Growing up, my dad had a “Super 8mm” movie camera. He filmed countless hours of home movies which included some of the most boring footage of vacations ever. So I thought they were boring. He would spend hours on end splicing the movies into full length productions. Of course, my generation wanted to be one step better and when I got married, I purchased a Super 8 with SOUND and continued the tradition. Then I took it a step further and bought a camcorder. Wow, ya talk about advancements in technology?
In the countless homes I’ve been in, I see a scattering of “staged photos” and the proverbial portraits on the walls. If I ask if they have a photo album, they walk over to their computer desk and pull out a disc or several. Even my own daughter has one of these fandangle picture frames that cycle through a variety of photos.
It’s sad to think that in this world of technology, that so many people have thousands of special moments sitting on a shinny disc or a sim card on a phone, only to be occasionally seen by a select few and only when asked.
Moms, dads, I encourage you to start thinking about sharing your life through your photography. Start to think about making that wonderful life, those special and not so special moments you’ve captured on your cameras and cell phones and placing them in areas of your world where you can effortlessly enjoy them. Every night when I go up stairs to bed, I inevitably stop and look at those photos on my staircase. I enjoy the reminder that I have been blessed with a rich life of family and friends. I look at a photo of my wife and I in out prom outfits and thank God she was the one I chose. I look at two of the most beautiful kids in the world and thank God for blessing us. I look at the photo of me and my sibling brothers standing in front of an exhibit at Great America and remember that day when all our families got together and had one hell of a great day. Even without looking at the wall, I can describe virtually every photo on the wall. How great is that? And in the quiet of an evening, I will sit down in a comfortable chair in my living room and pull out the many photo albums and reminisce the great life I’ve had.
As for the home movies? Several years ago, my oldest brother converted all the Super 8 home movies to VHS and last year, for Christmas, my daughter had the VHS’s converted to CD’s. That Christmas we spent hours watching what I once thought were boring home movies, and it turned out to be a great walk down memory lane.
Photo by Author