Hi! It's Angie Lucas here, happy to be your host for the remainder of May—what's left of it, that is. On Wednesday, June 1, you'll find out what's in store for you the rest of this week and the rest of the summer, and you're going to love it!
Today, Americans everywhere celebrate Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, this holiday was first observed by formerly enslaved African Americans in honor of Union soldiers killed in the Civil War. After World War I, it was broadened to include Americans killed in all wars. (Thanks Wikipedia!)
And while we do pay special attention to our lost soldiers on this day, most of us also honor all of our loved ones who have passed away—by visiting cemeteries, decorating graves, retelling family stories, and remembering ancestors. This makes it a great day to pull out the scrapbook supplies and preserve a few of the memories and stories that come to mind as you mingle with family and remember your lost loved ones. Here are just a couple of ideas to try.
Scrapbook Your Last Photo
After a loved one has passed, every picture becomes infinitely more precious. And when you consider scrapbooking about that person, it's so difficult to know where to begin or what to say. One approach (that will at least give you a place to start) is to scrapbook the very last photo taken with the two of you together. I did just that on this page about my grandmother.
It actually took me a while to figure out what title to use on this page. I went through several options before finally settling on a very direct title. "Last Photo taken of me and my grandma Mona Hymas Hill"
And on the back side of the journaling card, I included the very last photo I took of my grandma period (whereas the main photo is the last photo of us together), plus a quote that brought me comfort after she died. She had lived a long, lovely life, and I believe she was ready to go. She had had her day.
"Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be too short. But when we have had our fill of fruit, our swing of pleasure, we will say we have had our day."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Scrapbook One Favorite Photo
Do you have one stand-out favorite photo of your loved one? That one photo that captures the essence of who he or she was? That's what this photo is to me. I don't have very many photos of my grandfather that I took myself. He passed away when I was 23—a few years before I had a digital camera, which also means it was long before I was taking nearly as many photos as I do now.
My cute grandpa loved his baseball caps and his coveralls—he had them in all colors, including hunter's orange. He was into comfort, practicality, and simplicity. This picture of him, which was actually taken at my other grandpa's house, brings back his memory so strongly that I can almost smell him and hear his voice. It's not terriffically composed or artisticly great, but that's not the point here. I just chose a photo that gives me the strongest emotional reaction and made a page. Try it yourself.
If you need journaling tips, try a freewriting exercise. I just sat and brainstormed a quick list of memories about my grandfather, all written in short sentences, randomly strung together. I love the effect. I've varied short sentences with longer sentences, physical descriptions with lists of his hobbies and talents, general statements with very specific details. This paragraph doesn't say everything about him, but it paints a picture of things I remember:
He was a man of few words.
He loved to garden.
He used to call me "doll."
He owned a small-town cafe and, before that, drove a Coca=Cola truck.
He grew beautiful roses.
He had a lemon tree.
He served pancakes at the Caribou County Fair Lion's Club Breakfast for years running.
He loved my grandmother deeply.
While you have your lost loved ones on your mind today, I hope you'll follow the inspiration to either write about them or scrapbook about them. And if you have the privilege of spending time with aunts or great-aunts that you don't see very often, listen to the stories they relate, ask questions, and write down the new things you learn.
May you have a peaceful, memory-filled day. See you tomorrow.