Preserving our Memories

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.  ~From the television show The Wonder Years

Today I finished the Memory Book I was compiling for My Favorite Domer (aka my son or College Guy), and I must admit it looks great!

Now don’t bother reminding me I’m not supposed to be “laboring” on the Sabbath. I know that!

However, no way do I consider scrapbooking “labor.”

Nope, unless you call it a labor of love, which it surely was!

I have countless friends who are into the hobby of scrapbooking. They spend lots of time — and money — browsing craft stores for just the right binder, colorful inside pages, cutesy decorations, stickers, fancy scissors, bric-a-brac, etc. Then they spend equal amounts of time cutting things out, gluing them down, measuring and re-measuring until the finished product is a work of perfection.

They love scrapbooking and wouldn’t consider giving it up.

I never thought I’d join them — not until my son’s senior year in high school, when one of his teachers had all her classes do a Memory Book.

On a regular basis throughout the year the kids had to compose an essay on a certain topic (My Favorite Vacation, A Person I Wish I Could See Again, My Early School Years, Middle School, My Family Tree, My Special Gifts and Talents, My Future Plans, and so on). These essays were to be grouped (with photos, ticket stubs, and other treasures) into a Memory Book.

It had to look nice because it was for a grade.

Wise teacher, huh? She probably knew kids that age wouldn’t bother unless there was something in it for them!

Anyway, because much of the information to be included was stuff my son didn’t know, I had to help.

What started out as a labor became a labor of love and a really good bonding tool. We spent countless hours poring over photos, reminiscing over his early years, and enjoying each other’s company. I still get misty-eyed over some of his essays, particularly the one he wrote about his grandpa (my dad, who passed away in 2008).

When my son became a College Guy, I instructed him to save everything. Ticket stubs, pictures, programs, honors, awards, everything.

He’s a bit of a pack-rat, so that was no problem; however, he drew the line at writing more essays or cutting or gluing or organizing.

Those jobs (minus the essays!) fell to me.

He now has three Memory Books, one for each of the last three years. He says he’s glad I’m doing them, but I know he’ll be even more glad several years into the future. Time has a way of erasing things that photos, songs, and stories help us recall.

What are you doing to preserve the past so you can relive it in the future?