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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'll be the memory keeping dork.

This week my friend Corey wrote a post about her grandfather, it's over at The Poop Whisperer, and you should definitely check it out. It really struck a cord with me, for lots of reasons.

It really got me thinking about the documenting I do for my family. The photos I take. The video I shoot. Am I doing enough to remember the people I love? I often forget that all my family is not promised tomorrow. I am not promised tomorrow. Life happens and scary ish goes down.


But if anything happens to my family....will I be able to go back through endless photos and videos, remembering the legacy of love they left? Seeing photos and videos of them in their candid state? The person accurately depicted, the way they should be remembered? Being themselves. Silly, goofy, fun, serious, in a candid moment?

 I don't wanna be morbid, but I am being very serious about this. I want to be better at this. I NEED to be better at this. For my children. For my children's children. It is a responsibility that I literally feel rides on my shoulders.

And in Corey's post she mentions that her dad was always willing to walk around with the big, hunkin' video camera out to shoot video of his family. Despite risking his 'coolness card', he did it anyway. And despite it becoming a little joke among the family at the time, having video of her and the other grandkids with their grandfather are now a treasure. A moment in time they can now get back thanks to her dad for being the documenter.

I want to be this for my family. It's sad, and scary and worrisome that my life can change in an instant due to circumstances, illnesses, and freak accidents. But it happens all the time, and I'll be damned if I sit back and do nothing about memory keeping now.

I don't care if I look like a big old dork videoing my daughter at the aquarium. I don't care if I look like a loser who carries her big camera into Ikea for no reason other than to document a normal, everyday trip. I don't care if I'm the mom at the park lying on the ground getting a mulchy back to capture an angle of pure joy & exhilaration my baby is having on the swings. I don't care if videoing an impromptu 'interview' with my dad and little brother seems weird.

One day I will be so glad I did it.

And I'm gonna stop caring about what I think other people are thinking. Because it doesn't even matter one bit. I want to remember everything I can. I want to have ample video of my children with their grandparents. I don't want to have to regret in this one area that I have full control over.

So I'll sacrifice my coolness card. I'll lug around my big camera. I'll shoot video. I'll make video montages of special trips. I'll take pictures of every day ordinary things.

Because I feel it's my job. And I don't care if I look like a dork doing it.

35 comments:

  1. This post could not have come at a better time. One of my best friends lost her Dad yesterday afternoon. As you said, life can change in an instant. I'm always taking pictures and it drives some people crazy while others have gotten use to it and just ignore me. I don't want to find myself looking back someday wishing I had taken more pictures/videos of things.

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  2. Man! I have got to get better at taking pictures. Thanks for reminding me, Katie!

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  3. I admit that I too often care what I think about what others are thinking. Thanks for the reminder, girl :)

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  4. I could not agree more! I'm proud to be the one always dragging around the camera, even if it means I'm missing some of the fun myself.

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  5. This was the perfect post for this morning. I was just mourning yesterday over the fact that I haven't taken many pictures since Christmas. Christmas!?! I felt like I was losing the memories that are happening right before my eyes. I can't even remember the last time I had my video camera out. So sad. Thanks for the reminder.

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  6. This is something I strive to be better at as well. It's so easy to let things slip by and think to yourself that you'll never forget that moment, but in truth, you will, or at least you might. But, with a picture or a video to capture it, you wont.

    My daughter is named after my late grandmother and the other day I was looking for pictures of my grandmother to be able to save and show my daughter someday. You know how many I found? 3. A measly 3 photos of my grandmother and truth be told, they are all of the same exact thing...just 3 shots that were done one after the other. That makes me so sad.

    I'll have to add this to my list of personal goals for 2012 and beyond.

    Thanks for this post.

    ~Laura

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  7. I just had this discussion with my Mom and brother when he best friend passed away. Her video montage was 35 minutes long and that wasn't even all the photos! My brother said his would probably be 5 minutes. My Mom and I both decided we need to start taking more pictures to document all the fun family times we have.

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  8. I read that post and thought the same thoughts... Am i doing enough? I have to admit, that I take tons of pictures, I'm a scrapbooker, so my first thought is.. That would make for a great page. So, in that area - Im good. But, the videos? Hmm.. I take videos here and there, especially during holidays, but I need more Random videos, the videos that capture the little things you want to remember.. I need to become better at this. Because it is true.. you never know what tomorrow brings.

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  9. Katie, there is NOTHING, I mean nothing dorky about this! DO THIS!!! If there's anything our family has learned is life's too short and you're never guaranteed tomorrow! Love ya, friend, and keep documenting those memories! And you'll still have your cool card :)

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  10. I so agree with you. I love pictures and wish we had more of us growing up. There are some, and enough to remember, but my mom isn't a big picture taker, and I think it is such a wonderful legacy to leave. That is also why I am trying to be vigilant about printing and organizing albums. Because who knows if anyone would have access to my Mac in 10-15 years!

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  11. I loved Corey's post, and I love this one. I couldn't agree more. I'm naturally super shy, so I have to swallow my pride a lot and be the dorky mom anyway. Because those shots and videos are way more important than looking cool to complete strangers. :)

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  12. Katie, I love this post. I have been feeling the same way lately. I want to have pictures of this person with that person and candid moments. I just got a video camera that I broke out during my husband's surprise birthday party and had people tape messages to him. That may have been one of the first times I got friends and family on video camera. I also recently started feeling the anxiety that tomorrow with everyone isn't always promised and that need to take that photo today! Your post hit home so much. Thanks!!

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  13. Remember your post about Eme in the bathroom with you? I commented about my dad dying when I was 22(nearly 17 years ago)...

    Katie, you DO this. You capture.

    Without knowing you from anywhere other than the internet, even I can see your memories. Your children and grandchildren will be so, so grateful someday.

    You hit the NAIL ON THE HEAD about capturing everyday moments. THOSE are the photographs I wish I had more of with my dad and our family... (mom,dad, brothers)

    I take them now of my own family and my husband understands the value to me of taking pictures of shoveling the snow, a baby in the bath, dinner etc.

    I know firsthand what it is like to reflect back on photographs and although I have ALWAYS loved looking at videos, home movies and photographs even before my dad died, the priceless value of it after cannot be measured.

    Do NOT care if someone thinks it's weird! Your kids will love it someday. You're doing it now.

    My only advice is to ensure you get yourself IN photos even more. Don't be afraid to ask a stranger at IKEA to take a family pic there. ♥

    xoxox
    p.s. this post and while i typed my comment was also filled with tears...

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  14. Oh friend I am so glad to have struck a chord with you. And I am so glad that what I learned from my grandfather dying is inspiring some others. You keep taking pictures of that gorgeous family of yours and enjoy the memories. Hugs. C

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  15. Absolutely take pictures...lots of them...with everyone! Don't forget to give someone else the camera and get in on those pictures yourself. We learned this the hard way 3 years ago when my mom died very unexpectedly. My twins were only 14 months old at the time. My mom always had the camera and we had trouble finding pictures of her in them, she was always taking them. We have a few precious pictures of the boys with her, but not nearly enough.

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  16. So, so true. After losing my granny a few years ago - we poured over pictures of her, every one was suddenly so precious. I just wish I had more video of her talking. I have done a lot more video lately, making sure to stop and get conversations and ask questions.

    You have done a fantastic job documenting everything- I know your children will appreciate it! :)

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  17. I went and read her post and it is indeed fantastic and heart-breaking. Thanks for the advice.

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  18. This is so important! I am so glad that technology has evolved so much. I literally have one picture of my step dad and I together both looking at the camera. I think I only have one of my dad also and I was probably 4 in that picture.... Shoot. Of course we have a few family pictures from Christmas or whatever but no real candid LIFE pictures to go with memories. And video? Ha! I have no videos from my childhood. My dad died when I was nine and I am so unhappy and sad to say I can't "hear" his voice. Thankfully I lost my stepdad later in life and can still recognize his voice.

    So it is safe to say I will be the dorky one filming my someday children's every move. :)

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  19. I suck at taking video and pics but it's one of our resolutions to take more. Great post.

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  20. Lol, I am the same way. I didn't care in college, I didn't card as I have gotten older, and I don't even care when in NYC. I figure I just blend in with the tourists, haha;o)

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  21. Amen to this!!!
    I feel that way sometimes when I carry my camera around but no I've gotten to the point like you that I don't care. This is for my benefit and I don't care what others will think.

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  22. Back in 2005, Aidan's dad and I took Aidan to Disney World. Aidan was two, and it was his first time (my second). Chris had the video camera going CONSTANTLY. While it annoyed me at the time, now I am SO GLAD he did it. (There are even times in the video where I say "turn that dang camera off!"). But now, I can watch it and go "Sigh, I used to be so skinny" or "Aww, listen to how little Aidan's voice is" and those memories are there and awesome. A couple summers ago, I transferred them to DVD. It took me ages. But again, I am so glad I did it.

    It can be distracting and awkward to make memories, but you'll never regret it when you go back to relive them.

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  23. I can't even formuate a coherent comment. But, everything you said is perfect. I'm the memory/tradition/documentation freak in my family and I'll be danged if they think I'm gonna stop.

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  24. I usually just read your blog without commenting and have not added to my own blog since I created it (life got in the way), so I am not sure if I have any way for you to comment back or not (I read your posts about that too :)). I read because I truly enjoy your writing style. Anyway...
    Today I wanted to respond to what you said. It hit on what I have been thinking a lot about lately. I too take millions of pictures (they are on shutterfly, in shoe boxes, on my desk at work, etc) and grew up in a family with the pictures to look back at. I LOVE looking at those family pictures and even looking at ones I took with my four year old and talking about them. Here is where I am struggling. I feel like I am constantly "capturing the moment" and it is often keeping me for "living the moment". How do you keep a balance between documenting and being a part of the memories? I often feel I wasn't as involved with an event or activity because I was behind the camera getting shots of the kids and family enjoying the day. What do you do to keep that from happening? I feel guilty when I spend time taking the pictures instead of engaged in the activity, but I also feel guilty when there are no pictures to document an important event or milestone!
    Sorry for such a long comment for my first time commenting!

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  25. I love this post. Sometimes I get made fun of because I'm always the one behind the camera at any family gathering. I know exactly what you mean by wanting to capture those candid moments. When my mom passed away in 2007 all I wanted were pictures. I have two. One from when she was younger, and one from when I was in high school. What will I show my kids when they ask about their grandma? I have no idea. But, I know what I'll show them when they ask about their great grandpa. I don't care what anyone thinks anymore when I pull out my camera. I learned my lesson.

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  26. love everything about this. could say more, but i know i don't need to. xoxo

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  27. I love this post. It makes so much sense to me and it's something I think about a lot. :)

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  28. So thanks for making me cry this morning. I'm this for my family and while I feel sometimes people get annoyed, they all loved my pictures when my Grandma passed. And having eighteen million pictures of her with my Baby Girl? Absolutely priceless. I'll keep right on shooting..

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  29. I love this post, made me cry and very thankful that you are documenting our family. I love you sweetheart! I love the picture of Daddy and Emeline, says it all!

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  30. this is awesome!

    I'm so bad at taking pictures for that reason too. I am so scared of people find me annoying for taking pictures or asking so and so to smile, so I don't. And then I'll a fam jam and have no pictures at all. it's horrible and needs to stop!

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  31. take it from someone who can tell you first hand how heartbreaking it is to not have those things when the person is gone DO IT! I just lost my mom on the 10th and sadly she was not good at taking photos and logging memories so all I have left to hold onto are a few pictures like less than 10 and it breaks my heart that I have to rely on memory to tell my daughter about her grandmother she'll never remember meeting.

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  32. *SOB*

    I get your heart on this one. So much. And while I'm good with pics OF my kids, I'm not so great about getting them with others. Family, and such.

    Hugs.

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