If you didn’t know, yesterday was Grandparents Day. Like many others, I swiped through my camera roll, found the images I liked best and tapped “Share”:
Then I started thinking.
Couldn’t I have written a better caption? Is that all they deserved – five words and a hashtag?
I thought some more, brushed it off and went to bed. When I woke up, I scrolled through my feed and thought about it some more. I wondered why it bothered me so much. It wasn’t until later that I realized why.
For me, it’s easier to write something short and sweet than to really think about the way I felt about the images. Some might see them and say to themselves, “They’re so cute,” or “How precious,” but to me, it’s more than a collection of nice photos.
When I look at the images, I see memories. I see my grandma and grandpa walking me to school. I see my grandpa eating sandwiches on the cold tile floor in the middle of summer with my sister and me because it was too hot outside to have a picnic. I see our first trip to Thailand. I see my grandma handing me a homemade snack every day after school.
As I scrolled through my camera roll yesterday, I searched for images of my other set of grandparents, my Bachan, my Auntie Tommi – but I came up empty-handed. The memories were embedded in my mind, but my iPhone had no recollection of them. Luckily I found some prints.
I didn’t have the opportunity to photograph my other set of grandparents. Actually, let me rephrase. I had the opportunity, but I didn’t take it. I always thought to myself, “I will next time.”
We never imagine a life without the ones we love, but the harsh truth is that one day that will be the reality.
We can never have enough photographs. They freeze time. They capture a moment. Right now, you might be posting pictures on Facebook for others to see, but there will come a time when you will be the one thanking the stars that you took them.
So whether you get them professionally taken or not, take photos. Take so many photos you don’t know what to do with them all because you can never have too many good memories. There is a Japanese saying okage sama de, which translates to “I am what I am because of you” – and that is how I feel when I see them. When I see memories laid out right before my eyes, I know that these are the people who made me, me.