Decay of the Family History: Time for Prevention

Photos taken in Derry, Rockingham, New Hampshire

Mike posted a photograph of a decaying storage building on his blog site. It brought to mind my own intrigue and passion to take photos of decaying structure. They tell a story of neglect and loss. The beauty long has gone leaving just a pile of rubble or tattered vehicle. The bible states “By slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of hands the house droppeth through.”

I feel that is what has happened to our decaying family histories. We have become slothful in recording those stories, names, and births, deaths of the aged and new to the world. We think we have time that we will remember. Does anyone really care that I’m a farmer, a nurse, blue collar worker, or just the average Joe. We keep records of politicians, heroes and newsworthy people. So why isn’t our Average Joe who struggles just to get through each day, as important? I have no money, so I am not important mentality aids in not keeping records of our lives. Our lives are important to those around us and will be to future generations. Without us they would not be. We teach, we learn, we exist. It is our time to prevent the decay of the future. To prevent our families history from being a falling down piece of rubble, we must write down our thoughts, those special days, who and when someone was born or died. Keep the memories alive with photos but don’t forget to put the names on the photo.  I know I have photos I have taken and said I will remember who is in them, but I don’t remember the names. Sometimes I don’t even remember the face.

Take a pen in hand, grab a handful of photos each day and record who is in them. A handful a day is manageable. The memories they bring back make you forget the stress of the day. They bring a smile to your face. We remember we are important to someone. We do exist. We have something to say, to teach, to share.

My pictures tell a different story to each one of us. Maybe you remember the day you purchased you first piece of “penny candy” and shared it with your sister on the way home. Have you ever cuddled under a warm patchwork quilt on a chilly fall evening watching the leaves float to the ground after a barn dance? What do you see in these photographs? Just the decay or the stories they hold. Find the memory. Keep it alive. Live in the future as well as the present.


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