When I moved a year and a half ago, I started unpacking the boxes with my photo albums and spent way more time than I should have going through all of them. I've often been accused of saving 'everything' and have felt the need to justify my habit of...well...saving 'everything'...but this time, I saw it differently.
Among the what must be thousands of photos, I found an old autograph book...and I mean OLD! This one dated way back to sixth grade! It has signatures from so many people I remember well (many I'm still in touch with, online at least) and some from people promising to 'always remember me' (when, in truth, they probably don't remember me as much as I don't remember them).
The page in my autograph book that made me stop short was written by my grandfather, who died two months to the day before my wedding more than 24 years ago. Growing up mostly without a father, my grandfather filled that role and many more. I adored him and learned a lot of life lessons from him. So, seeing his entry written to his 'princess' was something incredibly special and unique. It made me realize that sometimes, what other people see as 'junk' or unnecessary, can bring joy and remind us of great times and important people.
I never wonder whether my grandfather actually knew how much he meant to me because I made sure I told him...every time I spoke to him by phone or saw him in person. I mention this because as we approach the Holiday season, many of us will be sending out cards as a reminder of our feelings towards the other people in our lives. As a Graphic Designer, I have long created my own custom cards which vary each year and I take great joy in producing.
I want to make sure the people in my life know how I feel about them all the time. It doesn't matter if they are folks I've met recently, see often and have grown close to or if they are people I've known since sixth grade and only communicate via Facebook. I like to think of my school friends as those who knew me before I became who I am now. They were the building blocks that helped me figure it all out many years ago.
And, like the feeling I got when I looked through all those albums, one day, I will look back at the pictures of today and think the same thing about my new friends.