He swore for decades that he would do it. When he retired he would sort through all those boxes of family photos. And those slides. There must be thousands. But Dad never got around to this task before he died. Now fifteen storage boxes are stacked on the back porch for me to sort through.
Daunting as it is, I’m not complaining. I absolutely volunteered for this task of rescuing the memories in these boxes. For some are already fading. Two photo albums, clearly from the 1920s, offer no clue as to who the people are. I only know they are our ancestors. Mom and Dad were both only children so not only do these boxes contain every photo taken by my parents and grandparents, there are no aunts or uncles or cousins to help unravel the mystery of these lost identities. Fortunately most memories remain clear, like Christmas at Granny’s when I was young. Gotta love those new slippers!
As the eldest child and now an elder, I accept responsibility to be a guardian of our family stories. Because that’s what elders do as we walk our final journey to becoming ancestors ourselves. We gather the stories of who we are and where we came from. Stories that have shaped us and stories that we have shaped. Individual stories and clan stories that give meaning to our lives.
There is amazing synchronicity unfolding for me right now. The next book I am writing is focused on the journey of elder. The Sacred Ireland Journeys are now focused on the portals and transitions of elderhood. And these brown boxes on the back porch are now part of my elder journey. Powerful stuff.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org