People give our generation a lot of shit for taking too many photos, too many selfies, but honestly I’m glad at how many photos Riley took. He had 38,000 photos on his computer but of those 38k I only have roughly 200 of him for the time we were dating and very few from after he left home but before we started dating. Riley’s sister made a copy of his baby book for me so I have some more there.
Every day I think of something we did together that I wish there was a photo, from things as big as our anniversary to as small as the times we spent the evening just watching a movie.
I have so little photos from our time together considering how many photos of other things he had and I cherish every single one. One in particular is such a normal photo, he was doing his ironing and I took the photo. He heard the camera go off and turned around. His cheeky grin came across his face as he realised what I was doing, ‘payback’ I said and ran away. This photo is so ‘boring’ so ‘mundane’ but now it holds a beautiful memory for me. One of the many reason people take photos.
Memories are powerful. Memories tie us to people, places, and emotions. We preserve these memories for the days when we may not remember, or might just need reminding of a time where things were wonderful.
The important thing to remember is time has a way of erasing details but with photos you will never forget that moment, you may forget the little details but that photo will help you to remember the way they smiled, the way their eyes lit up and the way they held you tight when you stood next to each other for that photo.
These photos also tell people what was important to us. When Riley died I went through his photos and I could see his time line, his life, the people and things he cared about. His niece and nephew’s birthdays. Every year. Photos of me, just doing mundane things, like playing video games, going for walks.
They are a reminder that he loved me, loved his family, and loved the night sky. It proves to us for the times when it gets too hard that he did love us, and if he loved us, then we should do him proud and keep going, make a life he would have been proud to be apart of.
These also help because it reminds me that there were the good times. Life is difficult right now but there are always ups and downs. I can look at the photos of the first Christmas he spent with my family. The first trip up Mount Cargill. All these times I had and shared with him. I took on many obstacles to be with him and get to the point of my life that had so many wonderful memories and I can do it again.
These photos will last. Forever. I can show my children, tell my grandchildren about Riley, about a wonderful and talented man that was my entire world. I have these photos forever. I imagine one day when I am very old, I will have a gathering of grandchildren around me and I will tell them the story of Riley, the time he cable-tied my Christmas present, the time he played Lego with the man that came over to install our internet and the first time he danced with me. They will sigh and tell me they have heard this story before and I will laugh and offer them more cake.
My advice to you, always take the photo, it doesn’t have to be a special occasion, it doesn’t have to be the best photo but one day they will be all you have. I know there are days I don’t feel like I look the best, days where I feel fatter then usual but I still let him take the photos because he wanted too and because one day when I look back I will be so glad he did.
I don’t care if your partner ‘doesn’t like photos’ ‘doesn’t look the best’. Take the photo. (I mean don’t be a douchebag about it, like taking a photo without their permission when they aren’t wearing much etc) Because one day they will be all you have left and you wish there was so much more to help fill that massive hole in your heart.
A collection of photos that seem normal and boring but yet bring me so much joy. (He’s reading Thomas the Tank Engine just fyi)