One day someone will be looking for a photo of you. What will they find? Will they find your high school senior photo with the awesome hair cut which was so hip at the time? Or maybe they will find hundreds of selfies from that awful but yet beloved Facebook you never intended anyone to see? That day will come ... when your children or some stranger from nursing home will wonder which photo is better? The one with two chins and mustard stain on your "everyone can kiss my a$$" t-shirt? Or the one where you're a bit tipsy at the family Christmas party yelling at Aunt Collin to shut up about her cat?
Yes, phones with cameras are everywhere and we have hundreds of photos of ourselves. The question becomes, is this the photo you want to be remembered by?
The last couple of months have been very stormy and the events that occurred has brought my focus into preserving memories. My mom was sick for a long time but last fall she just spiraled down quickly. I closed my studio and flew to Poland to be with her and my sister. After weeks in the ICU we didn't receive answers, just more questions every day. Christmas brought us hope, but the following weeks just brutally took it away. She passed on February 17. She was 68.
My sister and I decided on very private goodbye in the funeral home and cremation. We wanted to remember her joy, wit and energy. So, instead of the normal funeral, we chose to have her ashes in a tiny wooden box and a 20x30 portrait of her to displayed in the church. Our goal was to leave family and friends with a happy memory.
Three years ago I convinced my mom to let me do her portrait. She did not want it, she did not feel comfortable about it and she kept telling me to "fix" her old face. I love that old face, and I am so happy I created her portrait. I made her laugh and that was the face everyone saw in church, and the one they will remember when they think of her. Everyone commented how grateful they were to be able to preserve her memory with a beautiful portrait.
Instead of leaving your children and loved ones with snapshots of you that might be better left in the family scrapbook, give them a portrait they will lovingly choose to share because it warms their heart and will allow fond memories to wash over their sadness.