I love pictures – especially pictures of my family.
Now that we all walk around every day with good cameras on our phones, those of us who love pictures have a lot of great ones of the events and activities of our lives.
But the pictures are on our phones.
Or they are on Facebook for those of us who are into that. Or in our clouds – where ever that is. Ten years from now, when my grandchildren want to look back on family history, where will they look? Scroll through everybody’s phones? Maybe we’ll have an electronic process that’s easy and convenient by then. We don’t have anything like that now.
This has motivated me to electronically create family yearbooks and give each member of my family a copy for Christmas. I love pictures, I have a creative side and I’m pretty good on the computer so making the books for everyone has been a joy…..
That was the year my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer was killed in the line of duty on May 18th. My world exploded. The story of our family turned dark and sad and painful.
In November of 2016 I sat down to start our family yearbook and I attempted to make the first page – a dedication page to Davey. It took me several weeks of struggling to complete just that first page because of my grief. I would put a box of tissues next to me, determined to get past that first page but I just couldn’t. Sobs made my hands shake and the anguish in my broken heart would overwhelm me. Each time I tried, I had to stop. The emotional fall-out of trying to put together the pictures of the tragedy that happened in our lives in 2016 would follow me around like a dark cloud for several days.
So I stopped working on the 2016 family yearbook. Whenever I thought about it in 2017, I just ignored it. Whenever I thought about it in 2018, I would log in and attempt to start working on it, but it hurt.
Too heart wrenching.
Too many tears.
I just couldn’t deal with documenting the year we lost Davey. I thought about skipping 2016 and going on to 2017 but that was impossible. There was no way I could skip 2016 – our world had totally changed, we had experienced the worst and we had all moved to a different place. A 2017 yearbook wouldn’t make any sense without a 2016 book.
So each time I sat down to work on the 2016 book, I would end up staring at the dedication page with tears rolling down my face. Then I would quit and close my computer. I did this every 3 to 4 months….
I opened up my computer a couple of weeks ago to log in and see if I could get past the first page of our family yearbook for 2016. And, somehow, this time, it felt very right to be documenting my family’s extremely tough journey through that year. I treasured the pictures and memories of the days before May 18th. I loved fitting the pictures on the pages – remembering special moments of Davey’s last months.
And the pictures we took after May 18th actually filled some gaps in my memory caused by the fog of grief and the swirling in my head. They are important memories of how we struggled together to find a new normal.
I realized that I have turned a corner on this road of loss. My memories have now become more precious than painful.
There are still tears but the pictures taken before Davey’s death in 2016 are priceless because – we didn’t know it then – but these were our last moments with him. Every picture after his death is also important because they chronicle our journey together as we started down this very tough road without Davey.
Adding pages to these books adds cost and, in the past, that has helped me limit how many pictures I include in a book. Not this book. This book is going have every picture that is important to the story of our family in 2016. I’ve been working on it for weeks and I’m not done yet because I keep remembering great pictures of special moments that I still need to add. I’m including my favorite blog of that year as well – It Has Been Decided.
When they sit down with this book, my grandchildren and great grandchildren will have a great view into our family’s journey through the toughest year of our history.
That makes me excited about completing our 2016 book.
And I’m so very grateful that my memories have become more precious than painful.
Miss you, Davey.