. . . although not my usual sort, which involve photos of water. This week instead has me reflecting on the passage of time. Yesterday marked the first anniversary of my younger sister's death, and tomorrow would have been my first husband's seventy-ninth birthday. He did not want to live long enough to become decrepit or experience dementia, and he didn't. She was not so lucky.
Today I moved a literal carload of boxes of photographs, some framed, some in albums, some in envelopes, some just there, from the home in which said husband's aunt had lived since 1955, the year before I was born. (The car was a Honda Civic, but that is still a lot of pictures.) One small box was labeled "High School Pictures," followed by a list of names of members of the class of 1937. Another label read "Family pictures, around 1905." That box is sealed and has most likely not been opened for many years; when the step"children" (all now in their fifties) and I break the seal, who knows what we will find.
Aunt Pat took pictures of everything, and what she missed, my first husband got. Several of the boxes contain pictures of various trips and of every family gathering during the fifteen years of our marriage. A small envelope of wedding photos surfaced and had to be reviewed. The pictures were shocking.
Twelve days away from my thirty-second birthday, I had thought of myself as a semi-geriatric bride. Looking at today's find, I am not certain that I know that girl. With flowers tucked into her long hair, the person smiling out of those photos looks not too dissimilar from the teenager in my high school graduation picture. My mother, who seemed like an old woman at the time, was not much older than I currently am. Nearly everyone in the family shots is now dead, as are many of the friends. In less than a thirty-year period.
Time: not something to waste or kill.