The Bookmarks in Life

“Do you like Elvis or something?” asked the young cashier at the Michael’s craft store as he rang me up.

“No, but my dad does,” I said, answering his wonder about why I bought the entire rack of Elvis cut-out stickers that were on clearance.

My dad’s 61st birthday was coming up and every year when we celebrate his birth I am reminded of how thankful I am that my dad is still around.  He truly is God’s miracle having survived Lymphoma cancer eight years ago.  Sometimes, when I’m in the presence of my small, humble, Party of 4 family, I soak in the feeling of having them all present, to remember it – even if we’re playing the Wii.

I sort of, bookmark it, I guess.

I can easily recall the times when I would make a point to remember a moment in my life.  That – acknowledge how much fun you’re having and what a cool thing this is and soak in the feeling and sounds, moment.  If I think about those bookmarks I’ve made in my life so far, I can instantly be taken back to that memory.  And, I love it.

Of course, there are those bookmarked moments in life where you’d much rather forget.  Being delivered bad news, a single instance that changes everything, the end of a relationship, the unexpected departure of someone who you never imagined living life without, a moment of embarrassment or ridicule, even those tough times of childhood.  Yes, some instances we don’t want a bookmark, but sometimes they are seared in our brain because of their impact or intensity of rocking our world.  But, I’m convinced that all the good bookmarks – the moments you want to remember, will override all those bad ones.

I know it’s true because I had to be reminded of a childhood bully who was so mean to me in grade school.   On the last day of the sixth grade, he dumped milk on my head at lunch.  His name was Eugene.  Strategic little sucker knew he wouldn’t get expelled or suspended, since he was going to another school just as I was.  While that was obviously a super mean moment that I thought had scarred me, I can’t even remember when I forgot about it (I know that sounds weird) and only remembered it when I found my elementary school BFF who mentioned it on Facebook.  Then, I replied, “Oh my gosh I totally forgot about that!  What is that kid up to nowadays?  Jail?” as a total joke.  Um, come to find out that yeah, my elementary BFF confirmed that she heard he was in jail immediately after high school. That, didn’t exactly surprise me, but what did surprise me was that I actually did forget that the incident ever happened.  I really liked that.  Ok, so now I remember it of course but time does so much – it heals, it fuzzes out a feeling, and it just sort of, fades away.

Then you continue to live life, you make new memories, and you bookmark those.  You take photos of the fun times and it helps you remember.  Photos bring you back – to those sweet kisses, touches, the laughter, giggles, the goofiness, the presence of those who matter.  I guess that’s the fifteen thousandth reason why I love photography – it’s like a photo bookmark.  As a photographer, I help make bookmarks in life.

Camera in tow or not, you can bookmark your life any time you want.  Just listen, slow down, and look around.  And if you do happen to have a camera, take a picture, and when you look at the LCD screen of the image you just took, be incredibly grateful that your subject is right in front of you and bookmark that.

Diana Elizabeth is planning to spend at least a month during the summer back home with her family.  Oh, the happiness and freedom of being self-employed!  She will be booking appointments in the Sacramento area, so feel free to let her know if you’re interested in a session!

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.

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