Sunday, March 5, 2006


Me with the "Irish Twins"....from my Mom's collection

My Mom began going through her collection of photographs. Photographs that span many decades and include many generations. She divided them into six piles for each of us.

I have mixed feelings about this turn of events. The pleasure of covertly spending time alone in the guest bedroom, among the many boxes of treasures holding the jewels of our family's history has been weakened. The "stash" has been wildly diminished.

I am suspect that she is going through the seemingly millions of snap shots. My Mom is a first class pack rat. Not once in our monthly family gathering has she failed to produce an article from the 1960's highlighting some significant event relating to our family, or a picture drawn in first grade by one of us that she just happened to run across. Or a contract that she has unearthed that one of us signed in our irresponsible youth promising aherence to the family rules.

I groan inwardly when I am the focus of her reminiscing. But how would I feel if I weren't!!! My sister Omega silently stews. Sometimes not so silently. It is tough to be the youngest of six. She feels that Mom and Dad were worn out by the time she hit her wild teenage years.

What she had were five older brothers and sisters!! To learn from. To emulate (oh God!!) and tag along with. Some of the stories the two youngest girls can tell!! My brother taking them to a R rated movie at a young tender age (Saturday Night Fever). The wild rides in the car with teenagers being delivered to ballet or piano lessons! Who could have had a more colorful childhood.

Alas, not enough pictures.

I ache over the dividing up of her memories. I feel tremendous denial and sorrow when my mother asks me what I would like from the house when they pass.

"I want you to live forever....I want nothing."

What I really want is to go through all the remaining pictures, letters, postcards, newpaper articles, souvenirs, diaries (my mother is a note book junkie having several laying around in various rooms), her stamp collections, her precious memories from the years that she would not, could not bear to part with.

And I want them to live forever.


yakima127 said...

Very cute picture!  J

yakima127 said...

I could not believe what was in my "pile"!  And as much as it bothered me when my Mom started doing the same thing as your mother is, about two years ago, I am very glad to have what she is a weird feeling, though, being asked "what do you want?"  JAE

nellemclaughlin said...

My Mom had divided up pictures when I got married ( I am next to the oldest but the first to get married, I was 17!) Since I was five years old I have asked my grandmother and later mother for something of theirs for MY house. When my Mom was ten she went to a store with my Grand Da and he gave her money to choose a gift. She got a Mickey Mouse cookie jar. It is now 65 yrs. old. When we were little we lived with my grandmother as my Dad was traveling all over the world. All  my cookies were from that jar. Later Grandma gave it to my mother. I reminded my Mom that she had told me someday it would be mine. My mother has my name on it. She tells me now that when my grandmother passes, it will be mine now. Of all they have, that means the most to me. It IS my childhood, the happy moments of eating cookies with Grandma that she and I had baked. Since your Mom asked perhaps there's an item that will remind you of something great.

readmereadyou said...

Your mom was really a smart woman to save so many memories. I would have loved that.....I like pack rats. They keep the past alive. : )

ally123130585918 said...

How lovely to have so many Pictures to recall so many memories ~ Ally

lisaram1955 said...

I am the youngest of five, and I know EXACTLY how your sister feels...

Through the things your mother wants to make sure you have when they go, she WILL live forever.  Think about making her happy by choosing something special...  

Lisa  :-]

olddog299 said...

Do make sure to sit down with her and your pile and go over each photo. Get names, dates, significance of the shot, etc. This isn't for you or her, but for your children and grandchildren. Unlike you, they won't be able to identify Aunt Sissy Spachek at age two in Orlando the spring of 1958 while visiting Sea World!

Having executed several estates, I know this to be a fact: there's never too much info on old photos. And eventually, old photos without info end up in the circular file or at a flea market.


indigosunmoon said...

There is never enough pictures.
Never enough stories.  Thank you
for sharing this today.

mymaracas said...

How well I know how you feel. My siblings and I recently cleared out and divided up the family home, packed cellar to attic with 70 years of our history and memories. It still hurts too much to talk about it.

The most precious things are seldom the most valuable. Hold on to those notes and photos, my girl. And don't forget the recipes.

suzypwr said...

I have a ton of my mom's old pictures, and my dad's - too bad they never told us who the people are in the pictures, lol. Labeling is good!


my78novata said...

yeah its a phaze of life IM not liking kids leaving parents leaveing and its not as care free as I thought it would be!!!!!!!!!!

mtrib2 said...

Looking at those old photo's that my sister sent me at Christmas makes me think how everything transpired to where I am today.   It seems like a mystery unraveling all of the past.    I enjoy the B/W of  you and the twins.   mark

dcmeyer420 said...

Old pics always bring back memories. Like you, I would like my parents to survive me. May sound selfish but I just would not know what to do.

ksquester said...

Did you ever listen to K.T. Oslen's song, Old Pictures?  Anne