If you don't think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left


A powerful statement right?  About a week ago I read those very same words [Tweet "If you don't think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left"] and knew immediately that they struck a chord with me. I have three people in my life who mean the world to me and are now gone.  My Pops, Gran and my Uncle Richard.

Pops is my Grandad on my fathers side.  He lived in Scotland and I only remember seeing him once as a child.  My memory of him is very limited as he died when I was about 12.  I remember it clearly though, Christmas & Boxing Day were spent trying to get flights up to Scotland, my dad on the phone, the beautiful wind-up black leather watch I was given as my Christmas gift from my Gran & Pops.  It was the first time I'd ever seen my Dad cry.  Sadly, Pops wasn't in my life for long enough for me to have lots of memories of him, but he is my family and always will be.

My maternal Grandmother passed away in 2006 and I still miss her terribly.  I wonder what she would have thought of my husband, Ian - she never got the chance to meet him.  She never saw what a charming, handsome and caring boy her first great grandchild turned out to be and she passed away before my beautiful daughter was even conceived.  My Gran was beautiful, inside and out.  My Gran had a rough time growing up and led such an interesting life - oh the stories she'd tell us!  She had class, elegance and poise.  She loved one man her entire life and even though it didn't last, she always wore her wedding ring and they always loved each other.  She was a Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother.  She'd also tell me off for coming round to see her in my joggers as "you never know who may be here!"  Obviously she had some eligible bachelors around that I never saw!

My Uncle died three years and five days after my wedding.  Three years and five days after taking the microphone from the band and toasting myself and my husband and making a speech.  He did meet Ian and even my beautiful baby girl - in fact I remember sitting on the sofa with him as my belly jumped about with her hiccups and he was in awe.  He had missed that with his two baby girls, Madison & Cameron.  He was always so unashamedly proud of his girls.  Richard lived in LA so we didn't get to see him as much as we'd like and he was kind of a big deal too.  He has thousands upon thousands of dedicated fans who are dedicated to him and his career.  He started his career in the circus as a trapeze artist and later played the character 'Jason' in Friday the 13th Part 3 - he was the first man to ever wear the iconic hockey mask.  Richard was also a producer for Fox Sports and directed 46 episodes of 'Bill Nye the Science Guy' too.  Oh and he won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development in 2006.  He died way too young.

As you can probably tell, I'm pretty darn proud of my Uncle.  He was more than just a typical Uncle to me.  He was my friend too.  Today is the second year anniversary of his passing.

I've also just spent the last ten minutes sobbing.  But hey, I'm pulling it back...there's a reason I'm writing this post for you.

All I have left now of these three people are photos.  Sure I have memories of Gran and Richard, but we all know that try as we might, memories fade and blur over time.  Richard always had a twinkle in his eye, there was always more he wasn't saying and always a story to tell.  When I see a photo of him that captures that twinkle I smile..now that's Richard.  What colour were my Gran's eyes?  I couldn't tell you without looking at the beautiful photo of her I have hanging on my wall.

And that's my point.

Those photographs mean the world to me.  [Tweet "If my house caught on fire & my family were safe, photos would be the thing I'd rescue."]

Richard as a trapeze artist in the circus (stage name Richard St. John)

Richard Brooker, Lesley Notton

My husband & I on our wedding day with Richard.  By the way, Richard was 6ft 3! Richard Brooker, Lesley Notton

Possibly my favourite picture of all time.

A young Richard playing 'this little piggy went to market' with me.  I smile every time I play this with my daughter.Richard Brooker, Lesley Notton

Richard in his role as Jason in Friday 13th Part 3Richard Brooker photo Jason Friday 13th part 3

These photos are some of the most important things in my life.  They help me to remember the people in them, they help me to remember what was happening when they were taken - the smiles, the laughter, the stories they tell. Sure, sometimes they bring a tear to my eye, but I don't want to forget, I'll never forget, because I have these precious images to remind me everyday of how much I was loved and how much I love all my family, past and present.

So please... take the time for some family photos, capture the stages of your children's lives and print those images.  Don't leave them stuck on a disk that will date and get corrupt.  Print your images.  Love your family photos.

Lesley x




Here's the link to the original article if you'd like to read it "If you don't think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left"