About Grandparents and Old-Fashioned Photo Albums

Photo Credit: Rirri/Unsplash

I don’t find myself going through photos too often. Sure, I enjoy social media posts, like Facebook Memories, but that’s pretty much it. I take two minutes to scroll through old images between checking my emails and having breakfast. To be honest, I don’t even pay attention to all of them. 

My grandmother, on the other hand, is a big fan of photos. Old-fashioned, printed photos, in large sizes so that she can see well the faces of those in the pictures. She must have gone through the same images hundreds of times. Still, she keeps watching them with the same interest she had the first time she saw each picture. 

Staying in Touch Without Technology 

Grandma’s image turning page after page in an old photo album has recently come to mind while wondering how to help her see how the kids have changed since she last saw them. And also because today is National Grandparents Day. It’s a challenge, because she doesn’t have a smartphone or a computer, and she isn’t familiar with video calls. She likes things the way they used to be, and somehow, she quit pushing herself to keep up with technology. 

She’s going to be 82 soon, and forcing her to adopt new gadgets is out of the question. I have to go back to the old methods to compensate for not being there most of the time. In her very personal way, she’ll be part of this new trend of thumbing through photo albums and bringing back memories to evoke happiness and positivity. She’ll be looking at images of places she hasn’t seen — not to evoke but to create new memories.   

When lockdown and travel restrictions keep us apart, I hope photos can help us remain close. I’m sure anyone with relatives who don’t feel comfortable going digital can relate. 

I live more than 1,200 miles away from my family, so I usually see my grandmother once or twice a year. Travel restrictions have kept us apart for longer than ever before. She hasn’t seen her grandchildren or me in person for almost a year now. She has photos from our last visits, but kids change a lot in one year, and I would like her to enjoy every stage, as if she lived nearby. 

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words    

This phrase has been with me since college, and, once again, is here to help me connect with my family. I only regret that I hadn’t thought about it a few months back in March, when we had to cancel our trip due to the pandemic.    

I was hoping to visit her in August. Unfortunately, with the second wave of COVID-19 cases, we were forced to cancel our trip again. Now, I've made it a priority to have a photo album printed and send it over so that she can see the kids. It’s not much, but it’s all we can do until we travel safely again. 

Happy #NationalGrandparentsDay to all.

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