About me and scrapbook albums to make

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traveler
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About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by traveler » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:52 am

I am now officially out of vacation photos that I want to scrap and Zach's high school album is done. I'm still working on Benjamin's, but not much is gong on and also high school albums are boring to work on, basically a first day of school, the occasional honor society type page, a first job, a license, and a whole bunch of sports, mostly wearing blue and white uniforms. So, I need some more inspiring photos to scrap. I certainly have plenty of time these days.

Before I get to this, I'm going to back up to 2019. For most people here, 2020 is probably the worst year ever, but for me and my sister, we thought it was 2019. In the Spring of 2019, my aunt fell backwards walking into her house and cracked her skull. She had internal bleeding and died a couple weeks later. That was my mom's only sister and she was much younger, in her mid-70's, and everyone was devastated. Then in July, just before her 80th birthday, my mom had a massive stroke. She had been very healthy so that was a complete shock. She died in November, and for those days, I was with her almost every single day, through the hospital and rehab and trying to adjust to a new way of living. My sister, who lives in California, was back and forth the country many times during that period. 

When my Dad died back in 2017, I was sad but it made sense. He was 80 and not very healthy, he had outlived his life expectancy and it felt like it was his time. My parents had come to my house for a nice holiday dinner just a couple days before and my kids spoke to him on the phone the night before he died. After that, I saw my mom every Wednesday plus included her in all our family events. My mom's stroke and death hit me very hard. It didn't seem fair and I still miss her a lot.

We have a very small family so the only blood relatives I have left are my sister and 2 cousins (and of course, my kids). 

Some of you may have noticed that I was on this board much less from some time in 2019 until this Spring and I made a few cards, but no layouts. That was why. 

My parents bought a starter house back in 1962 with the intention of moving to a bigger house later but they never did. My Dad was a bit of a hoarder and they kept everything, every pay stub, bill, copies of tax returns since 1962. Plus, my Dad was an avid photographer. He would sometimes take 30 rolls of slides on a single vacation. So, with both of them gone, the task of going through the house was mostly mine since I live 30 minutes away. My sister was here around New Years and went through some things and planned to come back before we sold it, but that ended up not happening.

In the early days of the lockdown this year, going through their house was a very good thing for me. It got me out of my current house where we had 2 kids dong remote school and my husband doing remote work. And in addition to going through all the crap, I found some treasures, like a series of letters that my Mom wrote to her parents about meeting my Dad. In addition to the thousands of slides that my Dad took, there were also the old photos, my Grandparents wedding, marriages and death certificates, naturalization papers, and all sorts of things we didn't know. I boxed up all these treasures and they are in my attic here (I have a finished attic so it's a safe place for them). 

We had an open house in March, got 7 offers and sold it for over the asking price. My Mom would have been thrilled to know that people wanted her house, she always felt like it wasn't very nice. We couldn't do an estate sale, but my estate sale person brought a private buyer in who purchased a lot of her mid-century furniture. And the people who bought the home kept the piano which was important to me, I did not want to trash it (and I have my own piano). 

So, after all of that history, if you re still reading, this is the scrappy part.
I realized that rather than a pandemic album like some of you are doing, I am going to make a 2020 album. My sister was here on New Years and we toasted to 2020 being better than 2019. How could it be worse? Who knew? In addition to the pandemic, there is the stuff about cleaning and selling my parents house, and I managed to visit my sister in California in early February, plus taking Zach to college. There are many separate things this year to scrap about but I can put them all together in one album. I keep photos on my phone so I can print many of these things and get started.

Then there is the obvious project which is to scrap the photos from my parents house. Not the vacation photos because my Mom put many of them in albums and I would rather keep them the way she did them, but some of the other photos, and most importantly the stories. I am older than my sister and last week she said she didn't remember the first camping trip and I said, "Oh that as the chicken pox trip" and she had no idea, so I told her the story. My Dad had a zillion stories, he told some of them to my son for a school project so we have those transcribed, but the others are in my head. Plus my Grandmothers each had a story. So, I definitely need to make that album. I'm not sure I'm ready to work on most of it, but I think I can start with my grandmother and also my parents trees. (Some of the trees had a story and I took photos before I sold the house). 

If you are still reading, thank you for reading all of this. I was going to ask for advice, but I think I worked it all out while typing this. 

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DN in MN
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by DN in MN » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:04 am

Sounds like you have a wonderful plan.   I have been trying to get somewhat caught up with my current family so I can get busy and work on my heritage/history as well.  I cannot wait to see what come up with :)  Might even get me going... 

 
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oceanbreezes423
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by oceanbreezes423 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:07 am

Thank you for taking us on this amazing, heartwarming stroll through your memories! I am sure everything your Mom had is in the right hands, and you will know how to turn them in to a lasting memory for your kids, and grandkids in the future. Hugs to you, as I understand how hard it is o miss your Mom!
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blbabe1234
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by blbabe1234 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:11 am

I'm so sorry for all the loss that has occurred within the same amount of time. Many many hugs. Its never easy, especially when you're the one who's just a few minutes away. It's taxing, for sure. 

I think you're off to a great start and look forward to seeing those layouts.
Brandy Williams

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JAire
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by JAire » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:24 am

Thank you for sharing this with us! My loving thoughts are with you. You are a blessing to your family for taking all this on, good for you.
Joyce Ann

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Natalie Dill
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by Natalie Dill » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:55 am

Love love LOVE!

Definitely tell those awesome, important stories! I love that is what you know you need to do.
That's so awesome you found those old letters and things.
Kids these days will never be like "I went through my parents old email love letters to each other..." LOL
I am so happy you're inspired to scrap - it's the best therapy!

(I also usually answer my own question after I type out my post LOL)
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Deanna13
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by Deanna13 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:12 am

I'm so sorry for all the loss in your family over a short amount of time, Louise. Such a difficult time for all of you! Hugs! Sounds like you have a great scrapping plan. 
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jcsmaestra
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by jcsmaestra » Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:34 am

Louise, you will definitely find it healing to do those albums.  Old memories coming back, scrapping them, and the enjoyment of a finished scrapbook.  It will be bittersweet, but well worth it.  May you find comfort and peace through it all.  
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mgehrke
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by mgehrke » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:24 am

Thank you for putting some of your memories in writing and sharing them with us. I loved reading your journey and am happy you figured out where to go from here. I totally understand not being ready to do some scrapping on your parents, as I've lost both of mine as well. Good luck getting your scrappy journey started. I'm sure you will have full albums when you're done.
Mildred - Mom to 2 girls and a husband (I tell people that I am a single mom of 3. Ages 56, 34 and 28) lol. And now a proud Grandma to Orahn (4) Sawyer (2) and Mazie (not born yet).

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MTCanuk
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by MTCanuk » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:45 am

Louise, What a couple of years!!  I am so sorry for your loss. And what a journey it has been.  What a treasure finding all those memories To document.  

While it was 10 years ago that my mum passed, it still is hard. My step dad just gave away a lot of things of my mums that were important to my sister and I.  And my mum liked to write, so I gave her a journal to write some memories for us.  She never used it!  Not sure why not.  But it would have meant a lot to my sister and I.  And important as these were memories from Canada, as both my sister and I live in the states.  It is part of my girls heritage.  

Sorry for rambling.  I am sure it will help you process your grief as you move forward scrapping your family’s history.  

 
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shoorn
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by shoorn » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:24 pm

So sorry for your losses last year. It was a wonderful surprise finding all those photos/ memories as you cleaned the house. Your plan sounds doable. How lucky to have so many stories to tell. As the youngest sibling I don't remember anything of my parents early years. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your albums!
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sherelm
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by sherelm » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:49 pm

Im so sorry. Yes I know how you feel. Everytime someone says how horrible this year is, i think no, 2003 was way worse. My secretary had her baby at 2002 Thanksgiving, she was an unmarried, pretty girl of 20. In January she and her12yo brother went out driving in an ice storm, skidded on the ice flipping the car. Kristin was killed. Her brother had a scratch on his forehead, he had on his seatbelt. Eight weeks later, my scrappy friend and I were making plans for Saturday, and she said she hoped her asthma would be better by then. We talked until 2 am Friday night. She died right after we hung up. Not her asthma. A blood clot.

Then things got personal. My dad died in June of colon cancer. Like you, I saw it coming, and understood he was 83. Mom was already gone since '95. But Gary! My BIL and my son's Godfather was 47. His Dr. said he had tension, from his new business. Or depression. Gary was the most upbeat guy I knew. He had stage 4 melanoma. Discovered in April, he died in August.

My cousin didnt come to Dads funeral which was odd. And the year cycle right to this Thanksgiving 03, her husband phones me while I was scrapbooking. She was dead. She didnt want any of us to know she had breast cancer, she knew we'd force her to a doctor and she said "my mom and dad died fighting cancer young, so I'm not going to even try."

Our new puppy died at 2 1/2 the next year, and my son said "dont we get a break?" So yep, i get it.

ONE WORD OF ADVICE: don't try to scrap anything sad or any photos that make you relive what you once had while scrapping at a crop. Crops are for release, not for piling on more.

((Hugs))

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traveler
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by traveler » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:04 pm

sherelm wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:49 pm
Im so sorry. Yes I know how you feel. Everytime someone says how horrible this year is, i think no, 2003 was way worse. My secretary had her baby at 2002 Thanksgiving, she was an unmarried, pretty girl of 20. In January she and her12yo brother went out driving in an ice storm, skidded on the ice flipping the car. Kristin was killed. Her brother had a scratch on his forehead, he had on his seatbelt. Eight weeks later, my scrappy friend and I were making plans for Saturday, and she said she hoped her asthma would be better by then. We talked until 2 am Friday night. She died right after we hung up. Not her asthma. A blood clot.

Then things got personal. My dad died in June of colon cancer. Like you, I saw it coming, and understood he was 83. Mom was already gone since '95. But Gary! My BIL and my son's Godfather was 47. His Dr. said he had tension, from his new business. Or depression. Gary was the most upbeat guy I knew. He had stage 4 melanoma. Discovered in April, he died in August.

My cousin didnt come to Dads funeral which was odd. And the year cycle right to this Thanksgiving 03, her husband phones me while I was scrapbooking. She was dead. She didnt want any of us to know she had breast cancer, she knew we'd force her to a doctor and she said "my mom and dad died fighting cancer young, so I'm not going to even try."

Our new puppy died at 2 1/2 the next year, and my son said "dont we get a break?" So yep, i get it.

ONE WORD OF ADVICE: don't try to scrap anything sad or any photos that make you relive what you once had while scrapping at a crop. Crops are for release, not for piling on more.

((Hugs))
That year for you was much worse. Sorry you went through that. Hugs to you as well. 

I don't go to crops these days, but I hope to go again sometime in the future, so I will keep your advice in mind. I never journal at crops, I either type it up before I go or add it after I get home. 
 

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jcsmaestra
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by jcsmaestra » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:18 pm

I would like to add something to my previous post.  I lost 2 sons. One died in 1991 (at 18) and the other in 2015 (at 49).  Both had congenital heart defects. I started the scrapbook for my youngest about 8 years ago.  It took me that long!  After realizing how therapeutic it was, I started my other son’s scrapbook the year after he passed. I’m so glad I did those books.  Sometimes it was difficult and depressing, other times it was joyful and heart-mending.  But it really helped me to put my deep feelings into something tangible.  Those books will always be there for me. My oldest son is alive and healthy (at 56), and I thank God everyday for that blessing.  

Your losses are still raw, but I do believe that scrapbooking will be therapeutic for you when you feel ready to start.  You are very brave to share your story with us.  Thank you.  

 
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traveler
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by traveler » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:43 pm

jcsmaestra wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:18 pm
I would like to add something to my previous post.  I lost 2 sons. One died in 1991 (at 18) and the other in 2015 (at 49).  Both had congenital heart defects. I started the scrapbook for my youngest about 8 years ago.  It took me that long!  After realizing how therapeutic it was, I started my other son’s scrapbook the year after he passed. I’m so glad I did those books.  Sometimes it was difficult and depressing, other times it was joyful and heart-mending.  But it really helped me to put my deep feelings into something tangible.  Those books will always be there for me. My oldest son is alive and healthy (at 56), and I thank God everyday for that blessing.  

Your losses are still raw, but I do believe that scrapbooking will be therapeutic for you when you feel ready to start.  You are very brave to share your story with us.  Thank you.  

 
I am so sorry to learn that, losing sons must be beyond devastating. 
 

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pawprints
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by pawprints » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:48 pm

Louise I am so sorry for the terrible year that you had and for losing your mom. Finding those treasures was amazing and I love that you are going to tell those stories. I think it is amazing when you can look back and see things that your parents and grandparents saved and see their handwriting on things. When I was doing an album all about my grandmother for my mom a bunch of years back my mom gave me my grandmother's old photo albums. Pics she saved with dates and things written on them. It just thrilled me to have these things that my grandmother actually wrote on and photos that she saved. Because of that I make sure to journal a lot on my layouts of my grandkids, so they will have these albums one day to look back on, and know what we were doing or what I may have been thinking when these photos were taken. They are used getting their photo take all the time, they all know me to be the paparazzi as it is, but I like to put the stories down for them so they can look back on them one day. Some of the things I'm sure they will have been too young to even remember, so I like to tell them the story.  I also started a journal for each one of them (well I haven't started JJ's yet but I finally did get the journal itself) and I write in it from time to time. I've written about the day they were born, what the day was like, my feelings seeing them and holding them for the first time, and then I add to them from time to time about them growing up, cute things they've done, moments we've shared, etc. I think that someday it will mean a lot to them to have all these stories to read. My only fault in this is keeping up. I have so much more to do in their albums and journals. Maybe me writing this post will get me back to working on those baby albums!

I think it is great that getting all of that out was therapeutic for you and helped you to decide what you want to do. Take your time and scrap these things when you are ready. And as for 2020 being the worst year, I am with you and don't feel it is the worst year. Is it a difficult year? Yes by all means, but things like what you went through last year are the worst years. I feel if my family and my friends and their families can get past this whole COVID thing unharmed, then it is by no means the worst year ever, just a very difficult one.
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Elysandrra
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by Elysandrra » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:34 am

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that the process of telling these stories gives you peace and joy as you make your special book. I lost my dad too in 2019, and I am always thinking of him, dreaming about him too, and remembering more and more as time goes on. Today (the 14th) was his birthday, and my family celebrated in a big way. I made his favorite meal- Nifla- a German dish with thick flour dough noodles, potatoes, ham, bacon, onions and green peppers, every burner on my stove fired up and my kitchen a complete disaster. :) We ate cake and sang him happy birthday and watched one of his favorite movies. I can’t wait to scrapbook this day, and tell this story of how we miss him and yet are okay with him being in heaven waiting for us. :) Death sucks, and I have no idea how to explain it to my son, so I just tell him the truth. His grandpa and his cat passed away and are in heaven now. :) I think traditions and finding ways to preserve stories are important for working with loss, and help our kids learn to cope too.

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Aztam
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by Aztam » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:17 am

How true we do not know the future. Maybe that protects us in a way. I am glad you found your focus on how to pursue your memory keeping. Please share when you are able.
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Tam

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emmapaige
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by emmapaige » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:58 pm

Thank you all for sharing your stories.  I inherited my parents photos when my mom died at the end of 2015 but have only scrapped a few.  Maybe I will get the insentive to get more in a scrapbook.
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Flasher
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Re: About me and scrapbook albums to make

Post by Flasher » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:05 pm

Louise, that is a lot to process and go through in a relatively short amount of time.  I'm sorry for your losses.  I have some of my Grandma's photo albums, and like you, I don't want to change those or remove photos for scrapping.  I sort of see it as "she wanted them here, so that's where they will stay".  Have you thought about converting your dad's slides and making albums of those?  I like the idea of a "2020" album.  (Unlike others, I refuse to chronicle anything about this pandemic.  I hear about it EVERY SINGLE day, more than I care to.  I refuse to give it any more acknowledgement.)  Glad to hear you have a "scrappy" plan.  Enjoy your projects -- whatever they may be!
When people tell me "You're going to regret that in the morning.", I sleep in until noon because . . . you know . . . I'm a problem solver.

 

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