I read a magazine post about someone in their attic, coming across the cards and letters of their past. It got me thinking, first of back in my grandparents day all they had was letters and cards. I stumbled upon several decades worth of cards in my Sunday School room between a husband and wife. I guess they were donated for crafts, but it made me sad, that this piece of a families history was now going to be tree ornaments. Didn’t their kids want them? Didn’t someone want to scrapbook them? My own grandparents didn’t keep many things like that. I have my grandmothers baby album from when my dad was born, I have an old sports scrapbook of my grandfathers. Other than that- nothing from between them. They weren’t like that. I actually saved one of their check registers so I could have a sample of my grandfathers writing. When my grandmother passed, the same night we found her writing across a booklet, that said I love you Cal- meant to my grandfather, who had passed a few days before. But I don’t think generations now will have these paper memories. I scrapbook everything I can, but my kids memories will be e-cards and text messages.
When I was a tween and in high school, I kept everything- those notebooks full of notes back and forth to friends, ticket stubs, pictures, letters, cards. I kept it all. It all meant something to me, it was pieces of my life. I remember meeting some really cute boys at an amusement park when I was 14 and riding on the rollercoasters with them all day with my friend, but they were from Colorado- I knew I’d never see them again. This was way before Facebook. I remember spending time at my best friends house in elementary school- hours and hours of playing and laughing and I don’t even have contact with her any more. I remember some great kids who were in school with me and then moved. I remember friends from college, who I haven’t seen since. I remember letters,cards, notes and pictures of old boyfriends. That I no longer have. I have pictures with people in them, who I had a fun time with, friends of friends that I have never seen again. There are moments when you think this time and this fun will last forever. I used to cherish the notebooks passed back and forth from my best friend. Then there were friends of friends who I had fun hanging out with, people you meet at concerts, people from other schools, people at the shore. All these people, who you may have had conversations with, shared fun rememberable times with and then you are your here and now and they are part of your past, it’s like a life of someone else. Have all these people and encounters changed you? Molded you to who you are today? Why do we have people in our lives for a brief time, and yet the memories are there forever? I remember begging to go to the shore or a concert or a road trip to DC and that was so important at the time, I had to do it, or else my life would be boring. And I have incredible memories from those times and experiences, they helped me grow, learn, be mature, be less mature, make mistakes, become stronger.I guess each little fleeting moment in our lives makes us who we are in the present. They all add up to us being us. It’s funny though, because we think of our mementos and you think wow I bet that person doesn’t even remember me, but how do you know they aren’t doing the exact same thing. Paper memories are one thing I wish my kids would have. Think of all the pictures we have, and nowadays we don’t even have prints- crazy.