Monday, February 7, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Take a Picture Already!

John Jeffrey Ryan Jr 1971-2000
I love taking pictures. Capturing those special moments on film.  With a digital camera, I may have actually gotten worse and may need therapy.  I'm sure there are times when my family gets tired of me whipping the camera out, but as genealogists and family historians we all wish we had more pictures of our ancestors' "special moments".  That drives me to take pictures, so that my children and grandchildren (and so on) will see the times we went through, who was special in our lives, where we lived, etc.

There's another reason I take so many pictures.  Loss.  When you lose someone you've run out of opportunities.  Opportunities to talk with them, to tell them you love them and to take a picture of them.  I lost 2 dear family members this year as well as a dear friend.  I was good at taking pictures of my father-in-law with the kids although now he's gone I wish I had taken even more.  I had gotten a couple pictures of my cousin, Nancy, before she was killed by her husband...I'm still waiting for the "why" to that one.  I had taken plenty of pictures of my old friend, 1SG/CSM, Chris Raines.  I have these pictures of these cherished people because of another loss when I did not take a picture.

Patrick & John Jeffrey Ryan Jr.
My cousin, Jeff Ryan, died on New Year's Eve 2000.  I saw him on Thanksgiving before he died.  I had my camera with me and took no pictures.  I thought he'd think it was silly.  I was pregnant with my first child at the time and before leaving my Aunt and Uncle's house I hugged him and said that the next time I saw him, he'd be meeting the newest member of the family.  A month later he was gone.  I regret not having taken those pictures.  I always thought he'd be there.  He was only 29.  You never know how long you have with the people you love. enough of that depressing crap...

I also realized as I was preparing to take part in the "Home" blog for 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History that I have no picture of the house I grew up in!  There are pictures of my sisters and me on the porch and playing in the backyard.  Pictures of the inside of the house, but none of the house in its entirety.  How did that happen?  Then I began to realize that I don't have a picture of the hospitals my children were born in (less important perhaps), or the church I was married in.  Don't forget that when you're taking pictures of all those great events to get the bigger details, not just the little ones!

The next time I return to Hazleton, Pennsylvania you can be sure I'll be taking a picture of the house I grew up in.  It's changed since I lived in it.  Before my father moved away from there he attempted to paint it.  I may have to get my photo editing software out and change it back because it looks terrible now!

So take plenty of pictures.  With digital cameras it's cheap and easy.  You never have to develop the bad pictures and you can take as many as you like....just remember to label them!...but that's another blog...
Nancy O'Donoghue nee Brown (center)
CSM (ret) Christopher Raines


  1. Cher, if I lived closer, I'd drive to Hazelton for you!!!

  2. You're a sweetheart, Becky! I'll get one this summer though! Unless the city condemns it first! ;)