The True Value of Pictures

And now for something completely different…

Today’s post is going to be a little different than what I normally post. Brittany and I never intended for  our blog’s fashion and food theme to be a hard and fast rule. It’s a lifestyle blog, and our lives are made up of more than just cooking and fashion. Nevertheless, my posts have tended towards these topics. But one of the best things about having a blog is having a place to talk about things that move you. And that’s what I’m going to do today.

I’m not a photographer by any means. But I love taking pictures,  and I do think I have a talent for spotting great candid shots. Like these:

My friend Kelly and her son feeding giraffes at the zoo

My brother and my aunt on on Thanksgiving Day 2010 (this is pretty typical of them!)

My mom opening a gift Christmas Morning 2010

When I look back on these pictures, they instantly make me smile. And I’m always glad I managed to capture the moment in case my memory of that particular day/moment ever fades. My family often teases me about taking so many pictures, or complains when they’re the subject of pictures (although they always seem to appreciate them later 😉 ) But here’s the thing: memories do fade, special people  leave your life- either temporarily or permanently- and sometimes a picture is all we have left to remember those moments by. Here are a few pictures that are very dear to me, for reasons beyond just making me smile

Brittany and me with our mutual friend Michelle

I’ve lived in three states, moved four times (and that’s just out of state moves), and attended  nine schools. So I don’t have a lot of friends whom I’ve known for years and years. Although Facebook has helped me stay in touch with some of them (like my very first best friend whom I’ve known since I was 3), the friendship is rarely the same. But I’ve known these two girls since 8th grade! High school is a weird time for everyone, and at times we drifted apart. But they stuck by me no matter what, and we reconnected a few years after going off to separate schools. Sadly, that was right before I left Texas and that’s when this picture was taken. To this day, they’re the only friends I left in Texas who I’m still in touch with outside of Facebook, and that is so important to me. Starting this blog with Brittany has only reminded me how much fun we have together and how much we have in common!

I met my best friend Samantha on an online community for writers. In less than three years, she has become one of the most important people in my life. This picture was taken in March 2009 in New York City approximately five minutes after we met for the first time. I knew we had a ton in common, but I was so nervous about meeting her. After all, I’d never talked to someone almost daily for nine months with out ever talking face to face or on the phone. I shouldn’t have worried though, we pretty much ran into each other’s arms in the hotel lobby and haven’t stopped talking since!

Me with my grandma, mom, and great-grandma

 Because I lived in Texas and Arizona for 14 years, away from all of my extended family, I never saw my great-grandma much. But she was an amazing lady. She lost her husband to MS at a young age but she went on to lead a long and full life. She was still living alone in her early 90’s and she was a strong Christian.  In 2010, my mom and I, along with my grandma and my aunt, went to Ohio to visit my great aunt and uncle, second and third cousins I hadn’t seen since I was in diapers, and my great-grandma. I made sure to get this picture of four generations sitting together on the couch. I knew it would be a meaningful picture to have, and it is even more meaningful now. My great-grandma passed away on December 27, 2011 from heart failure. She was 98 years old. Up to that point, I had not experienced the loss of a family member (except my paternal great-grandmother who died 3 months  after I was born). This picture is also meaningful because my grandmother has Alzheimer’s, and one day sooner rather than later, she too will be gone. It is so important to have these pictures of your loved ones. because you never know what will happen.

This is a picture I do not like to look back on often, but one I am nevertheless glad to have. My mom took this picture of me and our dog Rio just minutes before we had to put him down. Rio was diagnosed with cancer in September 2006 after a tumor on his spleen ruptured. Thanks to chemotherapy (yes you heard me right!), he made it until February of 2007 when he’d received all the chemotherapy he could and the cancer returned. So we made the difficult decision to put him out of his pain. I was extremely bonded to Rio, having basically raised him. Furthermore, he was our second golden to die of cancer and the closest I had yet to come to losing a family member. Losing a pet cannot compare to losing a human being. But it was very hard for me, and I’m so glad my mom had the foresight to take this picture as that was the furthest thing from my mind at the time.

No, I didn’t write all of this to bring you down! It was inspired by a blog post that an acquaintance posted on Facebook. I read it, found it very meaningful, and that was it. Then I thought, I should make a blog entry about this! Here’s the link to the blog post that’s been going around the photography blogging world. I thought this post was so powerful and it’s something everyone needs to remember the next time they shy away from a camera because they’re unhappy with the way they look or they never think they look good in pictures (Brittany I’m talking to you!). Life is short and unpredictable. But no matter what happens, if you have pictures of loved ones and special times, you’ll always have those memories. So take those pictures! Thanks to digital cameras, you have no excuse not to take tons 🙂

XO,
V

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1 Comment

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One response to “The True Value of Pictures

  1. Michelle

    OMG! That’s my favorite picture of us three! The memories. I miss you both so much. 😦

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