I got a call the other day that my grandmother was in the hospital again. My first thought was, “this can’t be happening again.” It’s been less than a month since my grandfather passed and I am still aching from the realization that he’s gone. Thankfully my grandmother is well and the procedure she needs is fairly routine. She should be home by Wednesday.
Getting that call brought back a flood of memories from last month. When I went to my grandparent’s house to say my final goodbyes to my grandfather, we spent most of the week reminiscing on the amazing years that we did have with my grandfather. He was such a happy, funny, and loving person, that we were in hysterics most of the time as we remembered all of the funny things that he did. My grandmother is the ultimate keeper of all things from the past. She has thousands and thousands of photos from her childhood, her teenage years, the early years of her marriage and beyond. She has photos of me from the day I was born up until now. She doesn’t throw anything away and I was so thankful that she doesn’t because it allowed my family to sit for hours and hours looking back and reminiscing on those memories. I thought about how lucky I was for her to not only take these photos, but to have them printed and saved for us to have forever.
As I sat down to write my speech for his funeral, I looked through my phone to find a photo from last summer, the last time we saw him. I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled and found nothing. I asked my brother if he took any while we were there and he couldn’t find anything either. My grandmother, who is usually always taking pictures didn’t have any on her phone either. I remember while I was visiting that summer that I wanted to get a photo with the kids and my grandparents. I kept putting it off and ended up never getting one. My biggest regret is not taking a photo with him. While I certainly didn’t know that was going to be the last time I saw him, I still wish that I had those memories to look back on.
I wish I wouldn’t have put it off.
I’m sure I was waiting for a more “perfect” moment. Or that my hair and makeup weren’t done completely right for the photo to be taken. But looking back, that didn’t matter. I just wish I had the photo of me hugging my grandaddy’s neck for what would’ve been the last time. When I think back to that summer I don’t remember what I wore or if I even had my makeup or hair done. But what I do remember was my kids running around and jumping on my grandaddy’s lap. I do remember me sitting next to him on the couch and talking with him. And that’s what I wished I would’ve captured.
This wasn’t the only time that I’ve put off taking photos, but perhaps this it’s the time that gave me this wakeup call. I know there are so many photos that I don’t take of myself with the kids or of the kids in general because they don’t portray perfect. I’ll watch my kids dancing and not take the photo because of the mess in the background. Or I’ll want to take a selfie of the kids giving me a giant kiss on the cheek and I won’t because I have a zit on my forehead. I hesitate to take so many photos.
The truth is, there is no perfect moment. There is no perfect time to take a photo. Just take it. Take it so you can capture that moment in time. You never know when you’ll want to look back and relive it. And trust me, one day you will.