Happy Birthday Kristen – It would have been your 18th birthday today. So there couldn’t be a more fitting day for me to remind my friends (old and new) just how important Memory Keeping is and just how much of an impact it can have on your lives. Both for you as the memory keeper, and for everyone that reads it, whether they know you well or not.
I am passionate about Memory Keeping. I always have been. And maybe that was God’s crazy way of preparing me for when he would so prematurely take Kristen from me (just 2 weeks before her 10th birthday). That event reinforced that every minute and every hour spent on those albums was WORTH IT. And I know it just made me even more determined to show EVERYONE just how important memory keeping is.
LIFE IS WORTH CAPTURING, and there were years that I spent documenting Kristen’s life. I started her albums when she was about 3.5 years old and by the time she was 5.5 years old I was up to date (for a while). I always knew I would do something precious with all her photos. But until someone SHOWED me what was possible, I really didn’t know how, or when I would do it because I was too busy just living life. And I could never have anticipated that through the course of creating her albums I would also meet people, Customers, friends and DEAR FRIENDS, that would change my life forever.
LIFE IS WORTH REMEMBERING. Making her final albums gave me a focus when everything else seemed lost, hopeless and too painful to consider. Making her first albums brought me joy to be able to share with her memories she was too young to know. And making her later albums WITH HER by my side, scrapbooking her own pages, was as good as it gets. Not only are the albums a treasure no one can replace, but the experience of creating them gave us mother and daughter moments that were (and still are) precious.
LIFE IS WORTH DOCUMENTING. So many memories I have of Kristen would have faded by now… eight years on, if I did not have that detail captured in her albums. Every page helps to etch it in my mind, every written word fleshes out the detail of memories that cannot be built upon any more.
LIFE IS WORTH CELEBRATING. Even with you gone I can still imagine what it would be like to have you with me now at 18. Seeing your old school friends attending their school formal as blossoming young women, knowing you would be as gorgeous at yours. I celebrate the years that you shared with me and molded my life, breaking my heart but strengthening my determination to celebrate every bit of life more.
LIFE IS WORTH LOVING. No one knows the value of life until it is taken from you. So now we LOVE a whole lot more. Your two siblings that are here are more precious because you aren’t here to help us enjoy them. Siblings that you begged me to have when you were 6 years old, writing me a letter and putting it in the mailbox telling me you would even change their nappies if I would just get you a little brother or sister. We love them a little more because you taught us the value of real love. And they will grow up loving you and knowing you, because we will share your albums with them.
Memory Keeping is WORTH making time for. How many people do we meet that WISH they had spent the time, taking more photos, backing up photos properly, using photos in projects, and documenting stories? There so many options and ways to capture, remember, document and celebrate lives. And I found so many ways to do it with yours.
Today I REMEMBER your birthday Kristen, and your ten years of life. And will dedicate the rest of my life, in honour of yours, sharing my passion… because LIFE IS WORTH IT.
Some of these words were inspired by the new video from Close to My Heart. It really touches my heart the way memory keeping is presented in this clip. I hope that it may touch you in some personal way to inspire you to make time for your own memory keeping… to CAPTURE, REMEMBER, DOCUMENT, LOVE, CELEBRATE and Make it from your Heart. I hope you’ll take the 3 minutes to watch it as the beginning of your investment in your WORTH IT projects.