“Say Cheese”

I remember growing up my mother and grandmother always had a camera in my face. Wanting to capture every second of my life like it was going to be the most important second ever. It used to annoy me; family outings were never fully done until mom got the picture of me that she wanted. Sometimes, it even involved sitting through photo after photo with our dog Lucy, my grandmother making some weird noise to try to get my dog to look at the camera.

My entire life was documented by the people around me, but while it annoyed me then, now it’s one of the only things I have left to hold onto.

The thing about pictures is that they never change, even when people do. It’s a snapshot of a moment that was so perfect a visual reminder was needed to accompany it. They show the emotion of every individual in the frame and for that moment they portray, the world stands still. Preserving a memory that would soon be forgotten.

Truthfully, people who don’t take pictures every moment and chance they can scare me. Life is a beautiful thing, oftentimes, leaving us surrounded by beautiful people. Sometimes these people become family and sometimes they become strangers. My mom always used to tell me that, “People come into your life for two reasons: to stay with you throughout or to teach you a lesson.” Those words have stuck with me since I was a child.

I’ve had people come and grow in my life throughout my years, but the one thing that stays the same are the pictures. The pictures remind me of the lessons they taught, a part of me they helped discover, events that make me laugh all over again, and the person I used to be.

Pictures serve a reminder of the past and sometimes that’s the only reminder you end up having that people existed in your life to begin with.


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