Our world is an interesting place. Especially when it comes to how we create memories. These days, many people think everything is worth preserving in a photograph. Just spend one day out in the world and you’ll see people taking photos (on their phones, no less! I never imagined THAT would be a thing!) of their fancy coffee, their dogs, their shoes, and of course, themselv…ies (get it? Selfies? See what I did there??)

Everything is worth remembering! And don’t get me wrong, I’m on board with this trend! Photography is very important to me! I studied it all four years of high school and even have a college degree in photography! Take just one glance at my Instagram feed (go ahead…enjoy yourself 😉), and you’ll see that I think even the routine, ordinary parts of my life are not only worth remembering but worth sharing with the world.

Today, August 18th, 2016, would have been my mother’s 68th birthday. Five years ago, exhausted from fighting and knowing that on the other side of the war was an eternal, painless life with Jesus, cancer overtook her.

I sat in my bed in San Salvador this morning, searching my computer for the best photo of Mom to memorialize her influence on my life. As I sifted through files of photos of her, I came to a heartbreaking realization – there will be no more photos of my mother. As her birthday and anniversary of her death pass each year, I will eventually be forced to use the same photos year after year.

And what about the memories from moments that weren’t documented with a photo? I grew up in a time when you only took photos for really important events – birthdays, weddings, Backstreet Boys concerts, etc. One of my greatest fears is that I will forget all those precious moments; that they will be scattered to the wind as time passes and my age begins to consume my memories.

There really is no “This sucks, BUT…!” conclusion here. As each year passes and new memories press up next to the old, I simply pray that God will spark memories of Mom in my mind when I least expect them. Perhaps the sound of the ocean will remind me of hours spent hunting for shark’s teeth in Florida. Or the Beach Boys popping up on my music playlist will remind me of sleeping in her convertible while she drove us to Lake Erie. Or the sight of a baby will remind me of how her eyes just sparkled when she got to take a newborn in her arms.

I know that I am not the only one who is blessed enough to have memories of Lois Elaine tucked in their minds somewhere. Please, if you would, share with me one or two of your favorite memories of my mom. through our shared recollections, we will never forget the love she brought to our lives.

Oh, and take all the photos, for they might just be the spark to a firestorm of memories.

Christmas, around 2006