Recently I attended a memorial service for a friend. She was vibrant and full of good juju. She was a supreme Mom and was always organizing tremendous successful events. She was genuine and had her own style about her. She was a true friend and loyal. I felt her loss deeply and although I just don't do funerals I stopped at the gathering before her service to speak with her children.
While I waited I noticed two things:
1. There were throngs of people in attendance. Very few were crying. Most were laughing and hugging when speaking of her. What a tribute to how she lived her life!
2. There was a video playing of her photos. It was on a loop with nice music.
As I stood there watching the video I realized there were only 8 photos of her on the loop. 8? I was puzzled. This vibrant, engaged energetic woman had lived a full life. Why only 8 photos? And why were two from grade school, one from graduation, two from her wedding day and the rest random grainy group photos? I watched it over and over thinking maybe it was a technical difficulty.
8 photos on loop.
When I was finally able to speak with her son and daughter I immediately blurted out "Why are there only 8 photos on her video????"
They both welled up with tears and I immediately regretted my lack of filter. Her son put his arm around his sister and explained: "My Mom was the busiest person we know. She attended everything we ever did. She planned huge parties for our successes. She made every holiday grand. She gave of herself in ways we didn't even know until today. But what she didn't do is be in pictures of all of those things. She was the picture taker. And until she left us we never realized how her being behind the lens would leave us with a slideshow of 8 photos. It is just as devastating as her death. While we have the memories, our hearts wish we had photos."
I hugged them and gave my condolences and then sat in my car and sobbed.
We all do it. We are either so busy "doing" we don't make time "Being"...
I drove to work thinking "How many photos are in my slideshow?" Not enough, I can tell you that!
So participate in making the scrapbook of your life. Not stupid selfies you take 10 of and pick the best one and then use filters on. No one cares about your messy hair, size of your boobs, wrinkles, stretch marks, make-up,weight, vacation destination and all the other ridiculous reasons we as women aren't in photos. Let it go. It's exhausting!
People care about YOU. Who YOU are. What YOU have meant to them in life. Especially your children. They love YOU. The real genuine YOU.
So do this....FILL YOUR DAMN SLIDESHOW!
Because the trouble is you think you have time...
image courtesy of Gisela Merkuur