Funerals have a way of making people reflect and consider what’s important and how they’ve lived their own lives.
This year would have been my grandma’s 100th birth year.
But 10 years ago, I was buried under 5th year thesis, graduation, planning a wedding, moving, and life of a 24 year old, when my maternal grandmother passed away. She was 90 years old and just as saucy as ever. She fought and held on to life, she never liked the idea of life coming to an end. My mother, her primary care taker the last 5 years, was always there.
But it wasn’t until we were putting together photos of my grandma’s life, that my mom realized the two of them were rarely together in a photo. The person she was with so much and shared such a close relationship with, yet they had just a handful of photos together. ‘How is that possible?’
Because my mom was often the one behind the camera.
My mom knew how important photos were. She took tons of photos of us kids and family events, but she always hesitated to be in front of the camera. She’ll say, ‘I don’t have make up on today’. Or ‘my hair is a mess.’ ‘Maybe when I loose those 10lbs.’ Or maybe because no one stepped up to say, ‘Cheryl get in the photo!’ Whatever the excuses were, it didn’t matter anymore. You can’t turn back the clock. You can’t go back and redo a lifetime.
You can only learn and move forward.
My mom and I vowed to always take a photo together every time we see each other, which is only a handful times a year. We would not get to the end and feel the same pain again. Photos together are about so much more then our insecurities.
This year I’m working even harder to get in the frame with my own kids. And I’m not waiting on anyone to say ‘here let me take the camera’. I’d be waiting a life time. It’s my responsibility to make sure my children know how much I love them if I’m here for another 50 years or not. I want them to see our life not just from my perspective behind the camera, but from an outsiders perspective.
Being in front of the camera brings out the my worst insecurities. ‘Do I look frumpy?’ ‘Oh the bags under my eyes are the worst today!’ ‘I haven’t showered in…wait when did I last shower?’ ‘Do I still look pregnant?’
But the photos are not about our insecurities! They’re about the relationship with our kids.
But hey, I’m learning. So I keep taking selfies with my kids. Capturing little every day moments that are filled with love. Moments among chaos and dirty diapers. Moments I don’t want to forget or take for granted.
That’s why I get in the frame as much as possible. Now tell me, do you take photos with your kids? If you were gone, would they see how much you loved them? Will you remember what life felt like, what you felt like 20 years from now? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
xoxo – Rachael
PS. Go take a selfie with your kids right now and share it in the FACEBOOK GROUP.