Monday, November 4, 2013

Celebrations - Take the time to do this as often as you can.

This past Friday, my parents celebrated 60 years of marriage. Our entire family, all generations and pets included celebrated this momentous occasion with them together.

In preparation for the party, I reviewed and scanned tons of family photos and digitized them so they could easily be loaded up into an electronic picture frame for the happy couple to enjoy and share. My sister and I went in on the endeavor together. We set the photos up by decade chapters starting with baby photographs of my parents from the 1930s and all the way until this year. It was really a lot of fun, going through hundreds of pictures, many of which I had never seen or did not remember seeing before. While it took quite a long time to accomplish this, it was well worth the effort. My sister had a bunch of slide reels from over the years and she took those and found some real gems of pictures in them.

While we weren't able to put every family photo on the frame just yet, we recovered and digitized approximately 300 photos both black and white and color ones. Not all of the photos we had were good enough quality to be included, but I felt that both of us did an excellent job of selecting a wide variety of pictures and poses that captured our family life over the last 60 years.

We presented the photo frame to my parents at their anniversary luncheon. Along with the family, were several couples that they are friends with now at the new retirement home and a few ladies that are also their pals. We had champagne, cake, wine, delicious food and loads of laughs. The photos played in the background and everyone enjoyed seeing some really old photos of my beautiful parents along with some photos of us as kids and adults.

The best part of the day was having my siblings, our pets, along with our parents together for two days of celebration. We told stories, and we laughed a lot. We treated my parents to a lovely dinner at Clyde's Farm in Ashburn, the food was amazing and everyone was stuffed when we left the place. On Saturday, after we had the afternoon luncheon party, we retired to my parents apartment and watched the photo show together, discussing each picture and who was in them. Although many of them have passed on, its fun to see their faces again, how they dressed and remarkably how much family traits have been passed on to us and to our children. I know that my parents and my siblings and their spouses, enjoyed seeing some of those old photos again or for the first time. It made the event truly remarkable and I was proud that we pulled it off so successfully!

Here is the part where I beg each of you to be sure to take the time to celebrate every moment possible. Take those photos, raise a glass, make that toast. Don't worry if you aren't photogenic or dressed to the nines. Just snap the photos and share them. Your family and future generations will enjoy these moments long after you are gone and its important to ensure they are captured as often as possible. My family isn't that great at taking photos regularly. I hereby vow to try and always have my camera with them to snap those moments, make those memories and ensure that we have them to share in the future.

Not only did my parents end up with a great present they can enjoy every day, my brother and sister also ended up with many digital photos that they can also enjoy any time they want. I know I will enjoy having them myself to enjoy and share whenever I want.

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