The Mystery In The Old Shoe Box

As you know for the past week I have immersed myself in uncluttering – going through memorabilia and old photographs in an effort to downsize. My mother’s old photographs are in a huge handsome wooden box that my father made. That’s going to my son, the self-appointed family historian. The other photographs throughout the years I have half-heartedly made an effort to separate into different shoeboxes relating to each child, thinking about the eventual distribution.

That time has finally arrived. So now here I sit looking at this deformed mound of shoeboxes in front of me wondering if the cycle is ever going to be ended. In a way, while telling myself I am eliminating, I am just recycling and honestly not getting rid of much. I am passing these on to my children who will undoubtedly put them in another box somewhere in the back of their closet and then eventually when they’re doing what I’m doing, unload them to their children, my grandchildren. 

My parents lived from the evolution of tintypes to Polaroid. I have lived to digital and iPhone selfies, so I doubt if any more genuine ‘touchable’ photographs will be added to the boxes. And maybe, just maybe the cycle will end with my adult grandchildren who may not have a feeling for the family photographic connection anymore. It’s really hard for me to think about this life cycle ever coming to a conclusion, but it is a probable reality. 
So a sad farewell for me as I UPS three boxes to separate locations where my children have planted roots. The life I lived in my imagination with my mother’s family through her photographs and the life I lived with my children in real time may end with their children. 
Generations from now they will never know that you and I grew up in the best of times and were the luckiest and the greatest generation ever. These photographic memories, this life before death we, the ‘not-so-famous’ all experienced may end with our generation. The price we all pay as a result of rapid technological evolution? Could be. Time will only tell, but unfortunately, the proof might be lost in the nearest landfill. I hope not. 

Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All Rights Reserved.