Ryan and I were talking the other night about photo albums because we have many of these books from our previous lives up on a shelf in our basement. I was sharing with him how initially in our marriage I would often look through these books to try and get a feel for what his life and the kids’ lives were like before I entered the picture. I also wanted to try to get an idea of how the family clicked before me, what their mom was like, how I was different from her or similar to her, really probably just being a nosy woman but trying to sort it out, nonetheless, on my own. He, on the other hand, has never even looked at my picture books. I’m not sure why it’s so different for men and women, but I think because as women we are emotional. We have this need to try to emotionally sort it out, men are not nearly as wrapped up in that aspect of life, so to him that was my life then and it has nothing to do with his life with me now, so why revisit it? But to me it’s all encompassing, who you were then, how you lived life then, what you experienced then, all comes into play with who and what you are in the present. As we continued talking he said, “You know, those pictures aren’t really an accurate portrayal of my life, those are just snapshots of the happy times, you don’t take pictures of the mundane or the hard times.” I thought about it and he’s right. If I base my view point of his entire life prior to me on those picture books, I would not only get a pretty inaccurate portrayal of his life, but I would also have a huge complex trying to live up to the perfection that those pictures portray! As we pondered this a bit more and thought it through, our conversation turned down a whole new avenue. We realized that those pictures are like events that happen in our lives. We have snapshot moments that seem to encompass our entire lives for a season. For example, the deaths of our former spouses, those two events were snapshot moments. They were very significant moments but not accurate portrayals of our entire lives. They happened, we mourned, and now we remember. Sympathy and comfort is for those who mourn; respect is for those who remember. We have determined that those two snapshot days are not going to be days that we dread for the next 50 years (God willing), but we are instead going to focus on making as many beautiful memories as possible with the time we have remaining. Those events in our lives were what they were, and we respectfully remember as a family. They were snapshot moments of our lives, sad snapshot moments, and if we had a photo album book purely devoted to those days it would look like we had lived pretty sad lives, but the fact is, that would not be an accurate portrayal of our lives. Our lives are made up of the sad, the mundane and the great joy filled days, but just as we choose to photograph the happy times and not the sad, we choose to remember the good and rise above the bad.
Just keep livin!!