Friday, December 3, 2010

The Things We Leave

Running errands over the past few days, I keep coming across signs for Estate Sales. These always make me think of helping clean out the homes of some of the people in my life who have passed away and what happens to the detritus of a life well lived. Some things get taken in by loved ones, some passed on to charity, some sold to the highest bidder.

I always get caught up in the pictures. Photos of my grandfather as a young man, where he looks like my brother's doppleganger. School pictures of my dad in first grade where he's wearing the exact same bow tie my son wore for his school pictures. My grandmother in a poodle skirt. My mom with a really awful haircut. Sepia toned pictures of Korea and Japan.
Korea courtesy of Team Frosick

The scrapbook my grandmother made of my grandfather's tour of Korea is one of my favorite finds. Silver ink on black paper, black and white photos and letters back and forth give me a glimpse into the lives of people who I only knew for a very short time. What they chose to create, to write down, gives a glimpse of what was important to them day to day.

Packing and moving makes me realize that I've left very little of myself behind. My children will have stories with few pictures and very little hand-written from me. I plan to be a published author but I also feel the need to leave something personal behind. Maybe I should start hand-writing letters again.

1 comment:

  1. I have a bunch of emails saved on yahoo. I'm not sure I want anyone looking at them, but it's something. Also sometimes I feel like I'll keep living on in the cloud. It would be so cool to update facebook from beyond the grave."I'm having lunch with Jesus" or something.