Moments to Remember
I was born a scrapbooker. Well, almost.
I still remember the day I got my first album. I was a bored nine-year-old who needed a summer-day creative outlet. My mom, who as the mother of five girls knew a need for diversion when she saw it, magically appeared with a big red book filled with delightfully empty cream-colored pages. She placed it before me, with piles of nearly forgotten memorabilia … photos, programs, notes, cards, awards and more. She looked at me and placing rubber cement glue and a pair of scissors in my eager hands, smiled and said, “Have fun creating your very own scrapbook!”
This moment was a game changer for me. I accepted with enthusiasm the challenge of organizing the bits and pieces that made up the moments of my nine years of life. I arranged Christmas concert programs, newspaper articles, “hobby show” ribbons, notes from teachers, and report cards. I pasted in pictures of my sisters, my parents, and my friends. I even carefully preserved a stone heart that came inside a Valentine from my first kindergarten boyfriend, Dale Benson.
I faithfully kept up on my big red scrapbook until the end of my senior year in high school and it grew into so much more than an album. There, where I could always find it, were pieces of my life associated with emotions I always thought I would remember, but quickly forgot despite my best intentions. All it took was opening that magical red book, and those feelings would rush back … reminding me who and what I loved. Moments to remember.
For example, when I was 15, my beloved Grandma Downs passed away. She lived a short distance from my home and I spent many happy hours baking pies in her kitchen and picking raspberries in her garden. I remember feeling lost without her in my life. One of the pages in this scrapbook contains her obituary from the local newspaper, a funeral program and a blue carnation from her casket. For years to come, this page brought me a lot of peace and comfort and made me feel so close to my grandma. I also saved a handwritten note from my dad on my 8th birthday where he told me that he and my Heavenly Father love me more than words can write. This letter especially makes me weep when I read it today since my aging father, who suffers from dementia, can no longer write and express his feelings. I miss those lost moments with him dearly. But that letter reminds me of what an amazing man, and what an extraordinary and dedicated father, he was. I will always have that piece of his heart, even if he doesn’t remember.
Now, decades later, scrapbooking isn’t quite the same as my simple (and definitely archivally unsafe) methods. Thanks to beautiful patterned and cardstock paper, cutting and embossing machines, repositionable adhesive and every type of sticker known to woman, creating pages has become a wonderful, creative process. All the pieces of my life that I still gather and organize will be preserved perfectly intact thanks to these advances and innovations.
But even as scrapbooking reaches new heights, the reason why I do it will never change. Moments pass. And although I always think I will remember, I’m a grown up now, and I know how memories fade. My scrapbooks remind me of who and what I loved. They will be priceless heirlooms to come … moments to remember.