Take pictures of your grandma’s house
Think about your grandma’s house. What color are the walls? Whose pictures hang in the living room? Where is your grandpa’s favorite chair? If it’s a place that you are fortunate enough to visit often, then those questions are easily answered. If it’s been years since you last crossed that familiar threshold, then you’re probably searching your mind for these small details. Maybe you’re hoping to remember, questioning what the curtains looked like or where the coffee table was placed. To take pictures of your grandma’s house is a way to preserve both her memory and her legacy. Within the Families Connect app, these cherished details can be forever saved for generations to come.
Lives well lived
My grandma and grandpa spent most of their lives in Cleveland, Ohio. They were honest and kind and hard working. They remembered with clarity the Great Depression, not through second hand accounts but because they lived through it. Money was far too tight to send them to college, so they made their living working in factories and on assembly lines. They saved and worked and found time to have 2 boys. In 1952, they built what would be their forever and ever home. It was no mansion, and in fact my grandfather and uncle added a living room some ten years later. But my grandma came from a family of 10 children and shared bedrooms, and now she had a three-bedroom home with a garage and a yard.
Celebrating 100 years
Last summer, I traveled to Cleveland via a 12-hour minivan ride to celebrate my grandma’s 100th birthday. Before leaving for the trip, I had a feeling that this would be the last time that I would see the hallowed space as it had been my whole life. I wanted pictures of the home, but not just from the sidewalk, as everyone else saw it every day. I wanted pictures of the inside to capture all of the details that I never want to forget. From the wallpaper, to the pink bathroom and the apple tree in the backyard, I snapped away
Saying goodbye, but having photos to look back on
As life would have it, today my suspicions turned into my new reality. Today was the day that I got the call. After 100 years on this earth and 64 years in her home, she’s gone. There will be no more birthday phone calls. No more handwritten Christmas cards. I’m not one for hyperbole or gross exaggerations. I am not overstating when I say that it doesn’t make sense to me that this world no longer has her in it. But I have pictures of her porch swing, and of my favorite rose bush in the world. I’ll always be able to search through my photos when I can’t remember exactly where she liked to sit or what her coffee mugs looked like.
Don’t forget to take pictures of your grandma’s house
As her house slowly becomes something unfamiliar, as the pictures that have hung for decades are taken down and the wallpaper is stripped, I will forever remember her house as it was. In my mind’s eye there are lace curtains and a dresser full of yarn. A great sadness of mine is that I never told her that even with all of the linoleum and green carpet, it was one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen. Not because of her interior decorating prowess, but because I will always remember coming through the kitchen door to open arms and fresh zucchini bread. If you are one of the lucky ones who still goes to see grandma and grandpa at Thanksgiving, or on Sundays after church, bring your camera next time.
Sometimes where memories are made are just as important who is in them. Preserve those memories forever on your Families Connect page so that all of your family can look back and recall those 4 walls. You can sign up for the Families Connect application here. You’ll be so glad you did.
Torrey Swan is a former pediatric nurse who now spends most of her time chasing two red-headed daughters. Her favorite hobby is cooking with a proclivity for mexican food and margaritas. She has resided in Nashville since the age of 11 and has been married to her husband, a Blackhawk pilot for the Army, since 2008.