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Journals of Time

by Gina Gippner

several decades ago, in an old converted garage-apartment; resided a woman whom I was lucky enough to know. She was well into her 80’s when I became part of her family through my mother’s remarriage to her grandson. She lived with my new-found family relatives and when my parents would go for a visit I would sneak out to her apartment and she would take me into her room.

In the corner was an old travel trunk, and within the trunk were hidden memories; pictures from her past, and stories of her life. How I loved to sit and listen to her tell me stories. I remember staring at her face, always wondering if she were ever young.

 On one of my visits she pulled out a photograph of a young girl standing in front of a horse and buggy. In the background was the most beautiful Victorian house I had ever laid eyes on. As I looked beyond the house I could see a beautiful young girl.

I couldn’t believe it. This young girl looked exactly like my younger sister, Ann Marie.  I remember asking her when the photograph of my sister was taken, and she laughed saying, “Gina that was me, I too was young and beautiful and still am. You just have to look beyond my wrinkles to see the young girl within.”

Time continued. Time brings age and age brings loss of memory. I remember as she aged she would go through her old box of memories and not remember who she was looking at or when the photographs were taken. With time that old box of memories became a box of mystery. Without the storyteller they became postcards. A photo of nothing in particular, just something you’d like to send to a friend.

As we enter a new year I hope that everyone will take the time and put a note on the photographs we are taking. Age is something that happens to all of us, and as long as we are able to share the photographs of our lives then our lives will be forever immortalized.

We live during the generation of plastic surgery, where we can take our age and transform it to where we want to be. The only thing we can’t seem to control is our memories. They can be wiped away in a moment.

As we enter into 2009 I can only imagine the postcards we are creating for the next generation. My prayer for the New Year is that we learn to slow down and journal our lives for others who will someday look at our faces and not know the person in the photograph, but know of the story the photograph was telling. A journal of life, love, births, death, wishes and dreams to go along with all the photographs we have taken.

When we journal our lives we’ll never be forgotten, and even if our photographs are found by strangers, our words will then make us distant friends.

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