|Me, Granny, Grampa, Mike Munro Pro Golfer and Linda.|
I cannot tell you what joy I have found in it. I’ve placed the scanner on the table where Colin and I work and have vowed to leave it there until the project is done. Some days I scan forty pictures, some days one. I am putting no pressure on myself and I am putting them out there as the albums present themselves to me in random fashion. The idea came to me because whenever I am at Mum and Dad’s looking for a particular photo, they pour through the albums I have pulled down from the shelves as if seeing them for the first time. Most of the time the albums are up on shelves collecting dust. So I had the idea to make them each a single manageable album featuring the greatest hits of their lives! That way they can keep the album on hand and pour over it every single day if they wish. It will feature the best of their lives, young and old, right up to present day. It will be filled with everything from old friends to grown grandchildren. And I know it will fill them with loving thoughts, every time they crack open the cover. I will slightly custom it for each of them to include their individual and shared favourite moments and friends.
|Pammy's birthday with Pam with her lovely toothy smile, baby Jennifer, Linda, and a little girl I recognize so much but cannot place with a name. Anyone????|
When I started pouring through the photos with their dated, labeled, white-serrated edges, I found myself enthralled with the images of loved ones that we have lost and the long ago shots of babies who now have children and grandchildren of their own. I knew I had to share them. The pictures themselves are not always the best quality and some of them are literally fading away, loaded into my computer just in time to save part of the faint image. Some are out of focus and have heads cut off, which has long been a particular talent of my Dad’s. But wow, the emotions they evoked.
|Auntie Isabel dancing with Dad. I know it doesn't look like it, but they really liked each other! :-)|
Dad's black eye courtesy of my giant baby noggin konking him in eye.
I knew that others in the family would love to see these treasures and that’s when The Cousins Project was born. I put the photos on Facebook as I could think of no other way to reach all the cousins in a broad and timely manner. The only drawback I could see was that all my FB friends who are not in my family would have to endure the stream of pictures all summer long. But I was so happy to see that many of my FB friends seem to enjoy this glimpse into the past, even though it is not their past. Myself, I love to see old shots on people’s profiles and as it turns out, I am not the only one who loves this. So that happy fact has made me feel less guilty about bombarding FB with my past! And the very best part is that the cousins are loving it. We are all walking down memory lane together, hand in virtual hand, seeing ourselves as babies, growing up together as friends united by family ties.
|Uncle Don doting on newborn Mark. Lovely shot.|
So far I have only reached out to half of my family—the Munro clan. I have no one from the McGrath clan on Facebook, but I have reached out to cousins on that side and I am about to launch Cousins Phase Two.
There have been so many special moments in this project so far. Because the photos have been trapped in albums, I have never in my life seen the backs of them. These special little treasures have included wonderful notes on the backs of many of the photos, written from mother to mother, sister to sister, friend to friend. At the end of the project I will mail hard copies of any special shots to the cousins who want them.
I found that I really needed a project of the heart right now in my life. Something wonderful and out of the ordinary. I worried that it might be a melancholy venture, but as it turned out it was anything but. Scanning all the faces of those we lost too soon and those we lost in old age was not sad at all. The sadness has given way to a warm wash of memories. Sweet sweet memories that are growing and building with every photo remembered. And as each cousin adds a comment and a memory to the project, I am reminded of our oh so many shared experiences. And although we don’t see each other often, The Cousins Project is bringing us together in the present, as we remember fondly our past.
|And beautiful baby Deb!!! |
(adjective and exclamation marks courtesy of Barbara :) )
Barbara: As one of your friends who is also a FB friend, I can add my voice to the chorus of approval for having this access to your sweet old photos! I just LOVE seeing these. I can’t say why, given that they aren’t my family, but I just gravitate to these images, wanting to delve into that moment in a photo and then that one in another, maybe seeing a little deeper into your life by glimpsing your past.
I love old photos, but haven’t found this kind of commitment myself. Photos are still kind of willy-nilly throughout here. But this makes me really want to scan to keep them. And also to get my hands on old photos from my parents to add to my collection. I think it is a lovely idea for our kids and their kids too!