I have a secret album. It has cost me nothing as it requires no printing, in fact it doesn’t even require a camera. I keep this album locked away in the recess of my mind. In a world of multi media sharing of every moment of our lives, from dawn until dusk, these photos are for my eyes only.
So if you were to find my album, what photos would you find there?
Way back at the beginning you would see photos of a young girl, a very young pyjama clad me, sitting on my mum’s lap with my younger brother, living the bedroom story we are being told. You’d laugh at photos of five of us and a dog squashed in the back of a car, of a father kissing a daughter goodnight, unaware her book is at the ready under her pillow. You’d see a mother waving the youngest three off to school, of a godmother bringing her godchild to have her communion photo taken, and family holidays always in sunshine.
One by one the five of us grew legs. The teenage years album is filled with family and fun, wonderful holidays and Christmases others can only dream of. There are no photos of anything or anyone who hurt me during that time. All is rosy.
As you turn the pages of time you may see photos of a father becoming unwell until he can no longer speak or move, but that is not what I see. I see twinkling eyes still sparkling and a mouth begin a smile when such a feat is almost impossible. I see a wife by his side, not pitying but loving, not nursing but caring. If you look beyond the special bed he lies in you will see his family gathered, laughing and chatting. Family life existing around him, not away from him.
There are few photos of his funeral, but plenty of the sky where I search for him, of the sunshine where I feel him and of the tool press where he will always be standing.
My album is large but easy to browse. There are two separate categories for family, the one I was born into and the one I gave birth to. There is the category ‘love’, where my parents, my godmother and siblings live, as well as the one where my soulmate, children and friends live. Fun, madness and laughter are also key categories.
I never get sick of taking photos. I do it every day, for in every day there are magic moments. Today was just such a day as, she who does not wish to appear on my blog, graduated from school. There were photos of her last morning, her smiling face among her friends during the ceremony, her posing with them afterwards, a mature, confident, self assured young woman, my child no longer.
Today was a day spent clicking that camera in my mind, so that tonight and many other nights, hopefully years from now, I can open my album, where ever I may be, go to ‘end of an era’ and remember the many precious moments I have lived, enjoyed and appreciated.
If you’ve not yet begun a secret album I think you should.