This whole notion of TBT posts and pictures and such, is it fading or not? I am not connected to Facebook as I once was, having let that part of my social networking addiction almost go quietly into the good night, and I do not tweet, selfie on Instagram, make YouTube videos, have a Tumblr or other such account… I am so out of touch beyond blogging that I don’t really even know what is current and hot in social media so please forgive if I’ve left off your preferred methods in this introduction.
The Today Show was on earlier and they were hosting a TBT session, which then got me to thinking that I might be rather envious of the fact that most folks can take part in TBT fun if they choose to. I have very little in the way of pictures to use for such posts.
Beyond a few baby pictures, yearbooks, wedding photos, and some vacation shots after marriage and during kids, I believe a good part of my life was 1) either not chronicled on film, or 2) tossed.
I don’t remember many cameras around my childhood home, except for the odd Polaroid that spit out instant photos on rare occasions, or my own first Kodak Instamatic camera when I was in my teens. I don’t really remember anyone taking pictures of much at all.
The only photos I have now are the ones that somehow ended up with my father when he divorced my mother. When I left home I had my yearbooks as well as, what I believed then to be, all my treasured memorabilia. At some point, later in my life, long after getting married and starting a family, I realized – slowly and painfully – that much of what I thought I had saved was not with the box of memories sitting in my attic.
Not only were pictures that I had taken as a teen missing, but also things like my diary and a creative writing publication that I had contributed to in high school. If there was more, and I suspect that there was, those things must have been inconsequential enough that my memory hasn’t held on to them.
I mostly miss the pictures. I know a lot of my junior high and high school moments were captured by me with that Instamatic camera. There’s the vacation with my best friend in 1975. There are photo’s of painting the river bank during senior year, a long-standing tradition that I was so proud to take part in. There’s all the photo’s taken on my high school graduation trip to Hawaii with friends; a trip I paid for myself. There are pictures of first and second cars…there must have been pictures of many of my friends as well.
Where all of those items are now is a mystery. I was once told that my mother destroyed all that, all the things that must have been stowed away in a second box that I somehow missed when I left home.
Initially hearing that someone had purposefully tossed, or otherwise got rid of things, that were important to me made me angry of course. The story seemed to make sense when it was presented to me. Those ‘things’ were a part of me, some of the very few parts that I could tie to happier moments, to activities far removed from living daily with alcoholics. The story seemed plausible because I knew of the anger directed toward me by my mother.
I felt very fortunate to discover, sadly upon my dad’s death, that he had some photos, because prior to that, I thought all the pictures associated with me were gone. He had some of the baby pictures, and only a few of me in my teen years, but those were something tangible to hold on to. I have old school photos, and as I mentioned, the yearbooks through high school, however those posed, still photos aren’t the same.
It’s only been recently that I’ve decided to let myself speculate on the original story about the missing box. If you remember this post, associated with the brief series I wrote about my siblings, then it may not seem odd that I’ve started to wonder if the story about my mother’s actions is altogether correct. It seems as if the possibility could very well exist that my mother might have had some help in the tossing, or that it wasn’t her at all. Those thoughts lead me to wonder if that box still exists, somewhere. Those thoughts also lead me to ponder on trying to locate that box. That option, of course, means confrontation. That option seems unlikely to get me very far.
I have some thinking to do on this. A voice tells me to let it go. ‘Stuff’ doesn’t matter. But as the years move forward, and memories are growing more and more faint, and are harder to pull to the surface, that ‘stuff’ would be welcome, not just for myself, but for my children as a means to share more about the person who is their mom.
There’s also a desire for closure as well. I don’t like having those naggy ideas that I might have been lied to. That something important to me was taken and still exists. That I deserve retribution in the form of just getting my ‘stuff’ back.
I don’t want to think that someone could have felt such anger, or resentment, or jealousy toward me, so yes-a big part of me now wants to know and confront, even though I understand that the reality may be continued lies and denial, or no response at all. Someone took away any opportunity I had to participate in the quirky process that is Throwback Thursday. Shouldn’t I be the one to make that choice?