Recently my daughter said to me that she had always been a bit afraid of my father when she was a small child and regrets not being able to know him now that she is an adult. I've told her things about him, some stories over the years and, while I was sorting out a photo album for Mum as a reminder while she was in the care home, my daughter saw a photo of Dad which has stuck in her mind. It was taken when Dad was a young man, dressed in his leather jacket and astride his motorbike. Evidently this was very cool according to her and quite at odds with her memories of rather an imposing elderly gentleman.
It is strange what sticks in the memory even if it was only a moment in time which is what photographs are, frozen moments in time. Seeing these images again can bring back all sorts of memories, where the place was, things about the people in the pictures, how the place smelt if it was in a fishing port or garden, everyone's memory will be unique.
Just as some images can stay in the mind lots can fade away but it is so easy to remind yourself which is why the photo was taken in the first place. But just how often do you get out the photo albums to reminisce? Perhaps when the new girl/boyfriend is introduced to the parents - just to let them see what a darling their child was all those years ago and now squirming with embarrassment at their gappy smiles, awful hairdos and questionable fashion styles.
Maybe you are having a clear out in preparation to moving and come across dusty albums at the back of a cupboard. Flipping through the pages is a great distraction from the task in hand but what an avalanche of memories will flood back. Another possible time to look over the albums is if a relative is visiting, maybe returning back to the UK from time spent living abroad. Ex-pats can get great pleasure from these reminders of home.
Make it easier to look through the photo albums by collating them onto a Memory DVD. Once in digital format you could access them via your laptop or computer at any time. Make the morning rail journey that bit bearable, keep the kids quiet on a long journey and talk to them about who is in the photographs, have a copy made for your relative abroad as a Christmas or birthday present - so light to post!
Don't let these wonderful memories disappear, bring them into the light, dust them off and give them life again! Your children will thank you for letting them know the relatives that they have not had the chance to get to know for themselves.