I still have the first scrapbook I ever made. My mom took me with her to a scrapbook party, and I sat beside her and the other women with a multitude of stickers, pens, and colored papers at my disposal. There, she helped me create a few pages of an album about my eleventh-birthday party, which had recently taken place. Looking at that album is something special: I remember the fun of the party. I remember the friends of my childhood, one of whom has since passed away. And I remember the experience of sitting with my mom to make that scrapbook.
Nowadays, so many of our memories are documented on social media. And though I’ve got hundreds of photos stored online, it’s rare that I go through them. But when I look through that scrapbook, and others I’ve made since then, I feel grounded—rooted in my story, and reminded of who I am and where I’ve been.
This week at Verily, we’re exploring the significance of tangible things as they relate to memories.
One piece explores the art of scrapbooking, reflecting on the many benefits of making scrapbooks with our hands, surrounded by our supplies and stacks of old photos. If you’d like to start scrapbooking but aren’t sure where to begin, this piece has several pointers. And if you’ve fallen away from the practice, it just may inspire you to get back into it.
In another piece, the author ponders items inherited from loved ones. The women featured in the piece express the high value they place on their inherited items—the sentimental value is worth so much more than any monetary gift.
Part of the reason these tangible things are so important is because of the way they help us hang onto memories, both of experiences and of people who may no longer be with us. In Friday’s “In Her Shoes” column, one woman will share the loss she experienced on 9/11 and the little ways she and her family keep her brother alive in their memories and present in their family’s life.
As we reflect on memories, and how our things have a part in them, we’d love to hear from you. Which of your possessions holds the most significance for you, and why? Tell us here and your response may be featured in our daily email.