Monday, December 16, 2013

The importance of remembering

How many times have you heard, "Don't look back, look forward to where you are going?"

I have heard it so many times and in so many ways, but the truth is I have always been drawn to the past... my own and other's too. I look at the past as an opportunity to learn and grow. Make changes where changes are needed but also hold tight to the things that don't need any changing at all.

A few monts ago I went to visit my friends at our local Senior Citizen's Center. I try to hold a monthly "Crafting with Carmella" class, but on this particular month I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to let my friends there lead me down a path to the past. I simply asked them to bring in a picture of their younger selves, a picture that they were proud of, or something that made them smile still. I also let them know that I would be taking their picture that day as well. No other instructions were given.. you see, they just thought they we getting dressed up to have a picture made. At the time, I did too.... but what happened was so much more than that.

As each member of the center made their way outside to where I was set up, I asked them to show me the pictures they had brought...

You could see the memories come flooding in. A proud smile revealed more than words ever could... remembering didn't make them sad, it made them stand a little straighter...

What I learned that day is that remembering means knowing that every day we will change... gradually... but our " true selves" will still be there. 

There will be times from our past that we can't even believe we survived, and yet we may question our purpose for still being here...

And we might find that it's in the remembering that we discover what gave us hope in the first place.

The past is something that doesn't hold us back, but rather propels us forward if we allow it to. It can remind us of what we loved and how to find that love again

It can remind us to be brave... so much of our life is given away to fear that we may forget how much we have done and what our being brave has meant to others...

Remembering the past will inevitably cause us to be wistful... but if we allow it to, the past can give us better footing in the present. 

I am so thankful I had this time to share with my senior friends... every single time I leave them, I know I have learned more and grown more. 
Very simply said.... my heart grew ten times for them that day.

I feel so blessed that they took time to remember and let me come along for the ride...


  1. How awesome is that, I love to learn about the lives of others what they had to go through

  2. Looking at the old photograph and reminisce of the bygone time.

  3. Carmella, that is AWESOME!! What a special post. I love that they got dressed up for you too, that's so sweet. I like you even more!

  4. This motivates me to actually print off our pictures more often, so in the event I am someday asked to remember, I'll have something tangible to help me tell my story.


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