Reach Out

December 5, 2010


It is that time of year, where we all start thinking about the year past and the upcoming year.

This past week, I pulled a box of pictures from the attic. An old friend and co-worker was retiring and I was looking for pictures from our past. I was on a mission and didn’t LOOK at anything but my subject matter…until today.

Today I began looking through these pictures and I began reminiscing about my life through these pictures. First I made a “family” pile, then a “travel” pile, then a “dog and cat” pile….and before you know it, two hours had passed. Several Kleenex were involved and thoughts about my life and those I have shared my life with, crept into my heart and soul.

Pictures of me and my dad in front of the White House, Mama and I at the beach, Gary and I on trips, all smiling, happy pictures. So why was I sobbing like a fool? Because so many of the people in these pictures are gone! Never again can I have a conversation with my dad or grandma. Pictures of times gone by, that in my mind at least, were some of the best.

I am so much better for my experiences, my family, my friends, but I didn’t appreciate every minute as I do now. The days I will be here are fewer than I have had. I have so much more to do!

Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have gone down this path, but as my husband faces major heart surgery in a month, these pictures make life seem so fragile…after all it was just a nanno second ago we were all in these pictures laughing and carrying on!

So you know what I did? I called an old friend who was in those pictures so long ago. Laughter, smiles, a good life. Now her husband has passed away and her only daughter was killed in a car accident. She is alone in this world except for her friends. We laughed, we cried and we reconnected. We aren’t living in the past. We are looking forward to the future, but without the past we wouldn’t be the same people we are now. Learning and loving are what it is all about.

Sit down and go through a box of pictures. The next generation won’t have that luxury. I suddenly realized I haven’t have pictures DEVELOPED in 10 years…everything is on my darned computer! I love to look at PAPER pictures!

And if you don’t do anything else this holiday season, call someone you have cared about but have lost touch with and tell them you still love them. We never know what tomorrow will bring. But one thing is for sure. Tell those you care about in your life today that you love them. We need to love and laugh and embrace the people in our lives today. And memorize. The voice, the place, the smell, the touch. Tomorrow may be too late!

One Response to “Reach Out”

  1. Jeryl Matlock

    Cheryl, that was NOT a rant, but a wonderful reminder of many, many things that we need to do: look at our pictures, connect with people from the past, don’t let technology get in the way of honest-to-goodness communication, remember that we are all products of our past and so on. It was also a reminder to connect with people by listening to their voices and looking into their eyes (no, not in a mushy way, silly)……..

    Now, what’s this about Gary having major heart surgery? I am so sorry that he has to go through such an ordeal. He will be in my thoughts.

    Pick up the phone, yes the phone, and call sometime-let me hear your voice and that wonderful laugh……