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Memories in photographs

(27 Posts)
Imperfect27 Tue 08-Mar-16 08:47:19

For Mothering Sunday my DD sent me a memory stick full of photos of her and DS1 when they were babies. I hadn't seen some of these photos for 17 years ... when my ex left I 'kindly' said 'take the photo albums with you' as I knew (even though it was his choice to leave) that he would be missing the children so much - never thinking that would be the last I ever saw of the albums. Over the years I have asked him to have them back several times - we are on good terms and he is considerate in every other way - but they have never appeared again. I gave up asking and I have inherited family albums from my late mum and dad, but still missed some unique originals. It seems my daughter asked her dad to see the albums when she was expecting GS and then made photo-copies of everything.

As I looked through them, I was simply streaming with tears - happy tears - at having these 'memories' restored after so many years.
Because of my daughter's kindness, I have been reminded of the power of photographs to take us back to particular times and places and additional special memories. To see pictures of my mum holding my daughter at my age - with that soft, proud grand-parenting joy that I now understand so well, also made me feel connected to her in a very special way. And there were a couple of other absolute favourites that bring back sunny paddling-pool days and trips to the beach with little cousins.

Have you got a particular favourite photo / photos and what makes them your favourite?

Tegan Tue 08-Mar-16 09:30:47

I don't have a very good memory; my ex could recall absolutely everything..right back to when he was a baby, so I often wonder how much of my memory depends on the photos I have and would I remember anything if I didn't have them? How wonderful to see those photos again after so many years, and what a wonderful, thoughtful gift from your daughter. I'm having a couple of beach holidays with my grandchildren later this year because, to me, childhood memories ARE beach holidays.

mollie Tue 08-Mar-16 11:57:56

That's a lovely, thoughtful gift Imperfect27. I don't have many photo albums these days - got fed up with those spiral bound, plastic covered ones that just perished and fell apart so I happily headed for the digital option a few years ago. I've scanned all the old photos so they can be passed about via email or Dropbox but in the last few weeks I've been thinking that perhaps it would be nice to have them printed up into bound books again. I like the idea of pouring over them with my GD sometimes and telling her the family stories. To be honest, keeping up with the latest digital gadget so that I can access all my stored stuff is a bit of a faff so perhaps it's time to think about albums again...

Greyduster Tue 08-Mar-16 12:29:39

I have the same problem with missing photographs. It's a bit of a sore point. My late sister had custody of many family photographs which I would have liked to have copies of, including all the photos of my dad when he was in the army during the war which I know my son would have liked to see. My requests to my nephew to let me have the photographs temporarily so that I can scan them onto my computer have met with no response - can't imagine why he is being so intransigent. I consider I have more right to many of them than he has, but I'd be happy with copies. Added to which, another of my nephews has asked me for copies of any photographs that I have so that he can fill in gaps for his grandson, so those photos would be important to him too! It looks like they will be lost to both of us. We have boxes full of photos and slides here, taken of the children over the years, and hundreds of GS on the computer. I would be hard pressed to single any out - they all have significance and make me smile!

Anya Tue 08-Mar-16 13:22:45

When my sister died in September I arranged for her belongings to be brought down to me so I could sort them out. I found many things which had gone 'missing' over the years, including many, many irreplaceable family photos angry

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 08-Mar-16 13:29:26

My DS took all our family photos (without asking me!) to his house to computerise them. Guess what? Never done it and never offered to bring 'em back. hmm Doesn't bother me though. I don't like photos of the past. And they can be very time consuming once you start looking at them. And then you are sat with the blessed things out around you, and you've got the chore of have re-packing the blessed things!

Nah. He's welcome.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 08-Mar-16 13:30:31

Sorry for the extra blessed there

TriciaF Tue 08-Mar-16 14:21:10

I've got loads of really old photos - I seem to be the only family member of my generation who wanted to keep them. - still got 6 cousins etc alive out of 12.
I sent some to the daughters of my cousin in Canada who was having her golden wedding anniversary - they made a memory book.
My Dad was the one for family history - I've got lots of newspaper cuttings etc, and some paintings of Ggf's ship, a collier.
Apart from the historical ones my favourite is of myself aged about 2 looking scruffy and chatting up two little boys.

Alima Tue 08-Mar-16 15:13:45

What a brilliant Mothers Day gift.
I love looking through old photos. Especially the one from my own childhood. I often look through them to remind me of those times. I was 19 when my Dad died and 28 when Mum died. I find it very comforting to look through them. They are no bother to put away, they live in a metal box in the wardrobe. The photos of my DDs as children are in albums on the bookcase. It is only since digital photos came in we find we do not print them all out.
The DGC love looking through them.
Since starting family history a large number of photos of my grandparents and great grand parents have come to light. As they had all died before I was born it is wonderful being able to see pictures of them.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 08-Mar-16 15:20:35

I still have my photos of previous generations of family. It's just the ones of when my children were young that I don't particularly mind not having in my immediate possession. I suppose it's because I've still got the actual kids, today.

Willow500 Tue 08-Mar-16 17:44:55

That's a wonderful Mother's Day gift and very thoughtful smile I have over 3000 photos and videos on my pc many of which I've scanned from old albums and even have one of my maternal great grandmother and grandma neither of whom I ever met. I've shared a lot with family on social media which is fun and made a book for my mum's memory box when she was in care. As an only child I inherited all my parents albums when they died so scanned most of the family ones to share. I love looking back through them and would often take my iPad into the care home to sit with Mum and look through them. She couldn't talk but would smile and point at the older ones she obviously recognised.

maryEJB Tue 08-Mar-16 18:09:16

Over the years I have always put photos into albums and labelled them, but it's getting to be a chore now as there are so many digital ones taken. But I think if they are not printed they will be lost to future generations as technology will move on. I am trying currently to print the best of the recent ones into a photobook but finding it quite difficult. The children and grandchildren love looking at the albums, old and new so I must persist. My husband and I also like looking at old pics of holidays as well as family ones. I don't think anyone will want our holiday albums when we are gone though!

jusnoneed Tue 08-Mar-16 19:09:03

I love old photos. After I started doing the family tree I managed to get hold of photos of my GGrandparents and GGGrandparents, as well as many of great uncles and aunts, cousins and their families. I have been scrapbooking them, I like to think I have the actual photo rather than relying on digital storage.

grannyactivist Tue 08-Mar-16 19:21:07

How lovely Imperfect - and very thoughtful of your daughter. smile
There are very few photo's from my own childhood or from when my older children were small; initially we were too broke to have a camera and then when we did finally get one it was very expensive to get the films developed (remember those days?). I do occasionally (and rather accidentally) sit looking through photographs of the children when they were little and I get a sort of feeling of sorrow for times past, not sorrow exactly, but an awareness of time flying by and a remembrance of how they used to rely on me and that (quite rightly) those days have gone now.
Does anyone else know what I mean, but am explaining very badly?

Indinana Tue 08-Mar-16 19:59:05

What a lovely gift Imperfect, I can so understand your emotions at seeing these old photos after so many years. Such joy!

It was my DD's first Mothers' Day this year. I was her birthing partner and took lots of photos on the day, right from the first seconds of DGD's life as she was lifted from the womb by the surgeon. DD has seen these of course, but they're on my computer, not hers and I kept promising to get them printed for her.

Finally got round to it and had these printed along with many others charting her life right up to the end of February - 175 photos in all. I put them all in a beautiful little pink album and her daughter gave it to her on Mothers' Day wink. DD was completely overwhelmed!

Imperfect27 Tue 08-Mar-16 20:58:17

Indinana, what a beautiful gift.
grannyactivist, yes,- looking at photos of my parents - such wonderful grandparents - taken in their home and garden - well those days and that place are lost now, apart from the photos and our memories, but so pleased to have been given the reminders. xx

maryEJB Wed 09-Mar-16 09:10:13

Yes grannyactivist I know what you mean. A sort of nostalgia tinged with sadness especially if people have died or lost touch etc. but I still lime to look At old photos and relive the past.

Bijou Wed 09-Mar-16 16:04:38

I fear that photos stored on computers etc will be lost to future generations. I have photos of my grandparents taken in the 1880's. I wonder if my greatgrandchildren will know what I looked like in the 21st century.

grannybuy Wed 09-Mar-16 23:09:59

I have few pictures of my childhood, but my DD recently moved to the street where my mother was born, and where I also grew up in the house of my grandparents with them and my parents. A number of my mother's eight sisters and brothers lived nearby with their families. My DGss are at the same school as we all were, which is opposite DD's house. We had so many good times. The memories I have when I'm there overwhelm me. It has brought back so many 'pictures', which are bittersweet. The memories are happy, but I'm sad because so many of the family are gone.

Daffonanna Thu 10-Mar-16 08:11:57

When my grandchildren were little I made them little photo books with simple captions to tell the story of their immediate family . They became favourite bedtime books . Now they are learning to read I made longer ones for Christmas beginning with our wedding , baby photos of our children and photos of our parents so they have a picture book of their family tree. They enjoy reading them. I used rigid albums and prints as they are more robust for little hands to share with siblings . I know they will be cared for and passed on ; it seems I'm very lucky that our children seem to understand the value of family photos .

PRINTMISS Thu 10-Mar-16 08:23:29

When we were in business, a young man came to us with some sort of glass negatives, (I am sure they have a name), they were of some photographs a relative of his had taken, and were very evocative of the time - early 1900's he wanted to know of we could reproduce some postcards for him to sell. It was a costly procedure, but we did, and of course the cards had our imprint on them. About a year later a lady telephoned us to ask where we had found the photograph of her great-grandmother. Evidently one of the photos we had reproduced was of a whip holder standing outside one of the London toilets. Women used to do this for gentlemen making use of the toilet, so that they did not lose their walking sticks or whips to "snatchers" in the loo! Not sure if that is right, but that is what the young lady told us, and indeed the woman in the photograph is holding whips.

Indinana Thu 10-Mar-16 08:28:14

Daffonanna what a lovely idea! Many people write about their family for their GC, but using photos really brings the story to life. I might just copy this idea, thank you!

Imperfect27 Thu 10-Mar-16 09:25:14

Yes, thanks Daffonanna, that's a great steal. At my DD's wedding we noticed her SIL had a simple flip photo album for her toddler which contained pictures of all her immediate family, grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. The mum spent a lot of time telling her 14 month old daughter everyone's names as she flicked through it and the little girl seemed fascinated by it. I thought then 'what a good idea', but subsequently forgot so your post is a timely reminder to get to work grin.

maryEJB Thu 10-Mar-16 16:50:25

Agree. I am making a photobook of my littlest grandaughter's first 6 months. I have also filled in a grandparents' book for the oldest grandchildren with the story of our lives including photos. There is also information about our own parents and grandparents. Must do the same for the other grandchildren before Im too senile!

Synonymous Thu 10-Mar-16 18:31:11

Imperfect what a beautiful gift. And Indiana too. So thoughtful. smile

My DDIL had photos of all the grandparents and significant family members so that the DGC learnt who we all were and what we all looked like. It worked very well and even though they live miles away from everyone they had us all sorted out when we visited or they came to stay. I had the feeling that they were initially a litle unnerved by us moving though! grin

Since our recent move we have been sorting things out and our long passage way is turning onto a picture gallery since DH is hanging photos which span 7 generations along the walls. We plan to fill albums too but it really takes a long time. Vicarious we I'm afraid, what a good job I have him! smile