Friday, February 9, 2001    


The Importance of Scrapbooking In My Life

By:Sherri, OH

Scrapbooking wasn't always a priority in my life. I fully admit to scoffing at a friend several years ago as she showed me her scrapbook with stickers and titles, with journalling and colorful papers. I told her all my photos were safe and sound in my photo albums and didn't need to tell a story, because I "knew" the story.

My mother and I have researched our family tree for many years and have gone back into the mid 1700's. We've learned, through hours and hours of searching county records, what our relatives did for a living, their hometowns, their births and deaths. One thing I finally came to realize is that I wanted to know what these family members looked like. Did I resemble anyone? What family traditions did they have? How did they pull together as a family after the fire that took their home or feeling the loss when their son died in the Civil War or their daughter died of typoid? There are no "county" records to answer these questions for me.

My 85 year old grandmother shared a trunk of old photos with me. She wanted to share the story of each and every person, my family of generations ago, because she was the only person left who "knew" the story. Without scrapbooking and recording the story in journalling, the story behind every photo would be lost forever!

There was one photo of a man and his two sisters, each holding a baby in their arms. The photo indicated that both babies were named Cecil. Grandma said the names were right, and that the man and his wife had a son as well......named Cecil. He said that if his sisters could do it, so could he!
Well after all this work on the photo journalling of the past, I realized someday all my photos would be silent if I didn't write the story now. Magnetic albums in hand, I went back sheepishly, to my scrapping friend. She spoke of the importance of my albums being acid and lignin free. I was soon hooked and enjoyed the time spent scrapping and journalling the stories that I knew and wanted others to know in generations to come. My handwriting isn't the best, but what handwriting samples I have of my great grandmother's, I cherish. She personally touched that item. She had thoughts that she felt important enough to pass on and they've been saved for me to see. They have been saved for my children, to know a woman who died long before their births.

Scrapbooking has also become theraputic for me. Three years ago my nine year old nephew lay in the hospital with a horrible cancer with no cure. He'd had a tracheotomy, so he could breathe, but now he couldn't speak. He smiled and greeted us with "I Love You" in sign language. After nights of driving with family 1 1/2 hours each way to visit him, I'd lay awake knowing there would be no more pictures of him, his story of his bravery through the pain, the surgeries, the smiles he gave each and every person who came to his hospital door, must be told and remembered. His little brother would need to know how much his big brother had loved him. We needed to protect those precious memories. I worked into the wee hours, after visiting with him, on scrapbooks of my nephew. Through scrapping pictures of him, telling his story, helped me through the grief. During the eighteen weeks of his illness I made two large scrapbooks and a photo transfer quilt. The quilt had photos of the entire family from my nephew back in time to my great great grandfather. On the back of the quilt I traced all of our hands, saying "I Love You" in sign language. Good times or sad ones, scrapping tells the story of my life. I encourage everyone to start protecting their memories and scrapbook today! Without scrapbooks someone years from now might say, while pointing to your photo, "I wonder who she was and what her life was like? Who knows her story?"

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: Scrapbooking in style, by Carol B

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