I thought I had explored everything about scrapbooking–all the meaningful ways it can be used in our lives. But it turns out that I hadn’t.
When my mom passed away in December, my sister, daughters, and nieces and I were charged with cleaning out her apartment by the end of the month. We thought it would be easier than what it was. (The subject of another post. Maybe.) But I ended up coming home with bags of paper, photos, and, yes, scrapbooks. One scrapbook is one I made for my mother, a gift, celebrating her life.
To say several different emotions ran through me at once is not exaggerating. At all.
So, while I been focused in my own scrapbooking on my kids and a wee bit on myself–and on gifts for other people–I hadn’t considered this gift coming back to me. Even though my loss is still fresh, and turning the pages of this book is sometimes more sad than I can bear, sometimes I catch myself smiling. It’s that little impulse I hang on to, as it grows each time I glance through the book.
A lot of other items have come back to me, mostly photos of my kids, but this scrapbook is something that I made with my own hands for my mom, celebrating her life. I want to remember that celebration. I don’t want to dwell on the sadness.
Creating and recording these moments of celebration, of life, is what scrapbookers do. Those happy memories are not constant–at times, we have to work at remembering. Pictures help. When you are grieving, any bit of happiness helps you claw your way back to some semblance of normalcy.
When I’ve told people through the years, as part of promoting my Cumberland Creek books how meaningful scrapbooking can be, this is exactly the kind of thing I meant. As scrapbookers, we are only somewhat aware of the forward ripples we might be creating, right? We think our kids will appreciate these scrapbooks someday. We don’t know.
But my gift scrapbook to my mom that has come back to me? That’s scrapbooking come full circle, the other way around. It means more to me than you can imagine.
I’m moving forward with the cherished past in my hands–and in my heart.