I have always been the unofficial historian of my family. As a child I would spend hours going through the big cardboard box of photos. I’d memorize the faces and the events that were captured on film long before I was born. Mom would tell stories and explain who each person was and how we were related. I listened intently and committed it all to memory.
I am now the keeper of the cardboard box, along with the photo albums depicting my youth, and that of my parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents before me. These treasures currently sit in a large plastic tub in the corner of our spare bedroom.
The plan is to sort them. To scan them. To catalog them digitally. To provide my brother, my sister, my nieces and nephews, with copies for posterity. A visual story of where we come from – of who we are.
But I am unable to begin the project.
It will soon be one year since my parents moved on from this life to whatever it is out there that waits for us all. The enjoyment I once felt while sifting through our past has been replaced by sadness.
Instead of gratitude for times we shared, I am still lamenting what has been lost. The full, rich, lives that were lived but are now just memories – memories that will fade and disintegrate as the generations pass.
In this moment, this nostalgia is too painful to bear.
As the saying goes, “time heals all wounds” and I know that this is true. But right now, the wound is still too fresh. The scab refuses to form. It gets picked at by a million little reminders. By a story, a turn of phrase, a voice – or a photo.
I look forward to the day when I can smile at the memories. A day when this nostalgia no longer hurts.
This post is in response to The Daily Post prompt “Nostalgia.”