There are two pieces of advice I’d like to offer up to you this Christmas season: Both are related to a loss in my family that I would like to tell you about.
This is Jeanne, surrounded by her great-grand kids; from October 2016. They love seeing Jeanne and likewise, she loved seeing them. It’s the last great photo of them together because sadly Jeanne died in November this year after a short illness. Jeanne was 91 when she passed away; her body tired from its years. Her mind was still keen though and this photo, printed out for her and pinned to her fridge door until she went into hospital was a favourite.
Jeanne is my mother in law; was my mother in law. We didn’t always get on but over the years, she mellowed and I matured, so we rubbed along well in the end. When ever my wife and I had new photos of the kids and grandkids, we would print a few off and give them to Jeanne. She never did the Internet. Didn’t have a Smart phone. Jeanne never caught the digital wave, so Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even digital cameras were an anathema for her. Printing out photos for the fridge door and little photo frames for her bookcase was such a simple thing to do, but brought her enormous joy.
I hope you spend time this Christmas with your family; bring them together and share your company with them. With life as hectic as it can be these days, just getting the old and the young together can feel a chore – but. Persevere! And when you’re together, take photos. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a Smart phone, digital SLR or an old instamatic. Get people huddled together and snap away.
And then the other piece of advice is to get those images off the digital and into paper. Get them printed and share the prints with your loved ones. Those sixtieth of a second moments spent squished together; laughing, joshing each other – quite literally feeling the love you share – will be cherished memories for years to come. The feelings will come flooding back as you look at that piece of paper containing your ‘Kodak Moment’.
Enjoy your Christmas; enjoy your family; enjoy your photographs.