If It Weren’t For The Pictures

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

For Chris, Michelle and Vincent. My three smiles.

Driving past a field of flowers

I couldn’t help

But to lie you down

You were so small

Your smile in my lens

Your bare feet

Tickled by the petals

If it weren’t for the pictures, I may have forgotten


You were two

It was your birthday


I undressed your big Raggedy Ann doll

Her dress and apron fit you perfectly

Painted brown freckles and round red cheeks

If it weren’t for the pictures, I may have forgotten


You, my first

So many poses


Smiling, eyes filled with fascination

Content and loved

In your grandmother’s arms

In your grandfather’s arms

If it weren’t for the pictures, I may have forgotten


I wonder

The captured images

Looked upon countless times

Frozen and etched in my brain

My memory serves me

Not well

Some of it has been lifted clean away

I wonder

The images not captured

Time and trauma tangle the memory

If it weren’t for the pictures, I may have forgotten


I hope the pictures

I will pass on to you

Tell our story

If I am unable to tell you myself

Years pass quickly

Don’t forget to occasionally look back

At how you came to be

Who you are

Who we are

The distance between us has grown

Life stands in our way

Rare are the times to take new pictures

To make new memories

I am  so grateful

For the captured seconds

To see you all again

To see where it all began

It helps accept the now

It helps me to let go

Knowing, Seeing

That I’ve been with you all the way

Because, if it weren’t for the pictures, I may have forgotten

September 21, 2010

Coventry, CT

  1. Dani H says:

    Beautifully written, beautiful sentiments!

    And really unfairly beautiful eyelashes. I am in deep, dark eyelash envy!!!!

    So happy you are writing again, bunny! *Big Squishy Hugs*

    • joannefirth says:

      I WISH those were my eye lashes, just a template from that “photoshop” type website I’ve been playing around with. Mutual on the eyelash envy, mine seem to disapear more every day. 🙂 Thank you hunny, I’m glad I’m writing again too, that one was very tricky and I worked on it for quite a while. Much more than I usually do. I wasn’t really in the mood to write anything but once I started it I wanted to finish. E-mail soon please so we can catch up. Ginormous bear hugs and I won’t squish you too hard this time, promise. 😉 Love you.

  2. BrunchAtEleven says:

    Joanne, How ironic that I should come back to twitter
    today and find your lovely poem and spectacular images
    just waiting for me to enjoy…and I did!

    Whoever said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”
    was absolutely right!

    Joanne (formerly Brunchateleven) now @MissPanache

    • joannefirth says:

      So glad there was a little welcome back surprise for you. I happend upon that website for altering pictures and have been having a ball with it. I wrote the blog about photographs, so I thought it would fun to add a few “doctored up” ones. You know how glad I am to see you here. Thank you for your kind words and taking time to read and look at the pictures. By the way, I love your new name. 🙂

  3. Ralph says:

    Very touching, Joanne. I felt this way when my daughter went away to college 3 weeks ago. 😦

    • joannefirth says:

      I remember tweeting you the night you were bringing your daughter to college. When ever one leaves the nest, it sure pinches. It all goes with the territory of being a parent, just think how happy you will be when she’s home on vacation. Take LOTS of pictures. 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting Ralph. We’re all in this together. #parenthood

  4. Diana says:

    This is just perfect…..It reminds me of my mother and the day she went through all of the photos she had of all 7 children….put them in separate boxes and gave our memories back to each of us 🙂

    • joannefirth says:

      That is so sweet, I’m glad you shared that with me Diana. What a wonderful gift that was for the seven of you to get your childhood memories back. I love the way you put that, because it’s so true. We only remember so much when we are little. I was writing this from a different standpoint of me not remembering. You really added brand new perspective to all of this for me, thank you for that. Thank you for stopping by. I’m happy you have your special box of memories. 🙂

  5. Janet Blackford says:

    So beautiful Joanne, how valuable our pictures are, what would we do without them. The camera has to be one of the best inventions ever. Keep writing Joanne, your words give such pleasure when read xo

    • joannefirth says:

      Thank you Jan. You are so right about the camera being one of the best inventions ever. Everything is so different now, with the digital cameras. I’m not too good at putting all the pictures on to CD’s for safe keeping and have lost many because of computer crashes. The good old paper pictures don’t “crash” though. Thank goodness for that. Reminds me, I have a LOT of work to do gathering up all of the digital pictures and getting them stored properly. My memory isn’t getting any better, I’m in no position to take chances here. 😉 I’m so glad you stopped by. Much love your way Jan. ❤

  6. Mary says:

    This is lovely! I have in my possession many old pictures from my aunts. I know none of the people, but I can’t bear to throw them out. I shared none of the memories. And even though the people in them are long gone, in a way they still exist.

    • joannefirth says:

      Thank you Mary. Never throw them out. I know now that you have no way to put names on them, but you are right, they still do exist. They had lives, documented in the pictures. It’s a mystery for you at this point, not knowing who they are. It’s still family history though. I guess it’s a good lesson to us to make sure our pictures don’t end up nameless faces when we pass them on. Thank you for sharing that with me. What a wake up call. I hope some day, you will find someone with some answers for you. ❤

  7. Sue Jeeves says:


    • joannefirth says:

      Hi Sue, thanks for taking the time to stop by and read. As a mom, I’m sure you understand just how precious those pictures can be. Even if tucked away for years, you can take them out and just enjoy. Now all this electronic picture taking has changed things. Very hard to keep track of them all. My next project maybe. 🙂

  8. casoly says:

    Beautiful. I am sure they will treasure this one always. Your ability with words never ceases to delight me, and make me feel. Thank you Joanne! xxoo (to infinity!) :o)

    • joannefirth says:

      Oh Caroline, you are always to kind. They will probably never even read this. I have a terrible memory, but for some reason I can remember photographs. They just stick in my head unlike the actual event…that just seems to disapear. I’m just thankful for the pictures, now if I can just get them all in one place. 🙂 Thank you back to infinity.

  9. Linda says:

    It is so funny you wrote this today – it is Jeff’s birthday and we just got out an envelope of old pictures of him last week and were walking down memory lane. I save each of there pictures in an envelope to give to their future wife. I have Brian’s all ready to give to Andrea. I really enjoyed this one Sis!

    • joannefirth says:

      That’s such a nice tradition Sis, giving out envelopes of pics. I have so many, one day I’d like to get them organized, and now with all this uploading on the computers they are everywhere. Tell Jeff I said Happy Birthday. Love you.

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