Memories, Traditions, Photographs Etched in the Heart

“A memory is a photograph taken by the heart to make a special moment last forever.”

Have you ever found yourself taken back in time because you heard that specific song, read that one line, or stumbled across a certain picture?   As the holidays approach, I have found myself reminiscing on the memories I have built with my family and friends.
“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived 12 little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread and brushed their teeth and went to bed. They left the house at half past nine in two straight lines in rain or shine-the smallest one was Madeline.”  My addiction to Madeline was unreal which left my Halloween costume in 2004 unquestionable, I was going to be my favorite little girl from Paris; little did I know then that it would be a Halloween I would remember for the rest of my life.  That Halloween I ended up getting strep throat which meant I wasn’t going to get to go trick-or-treating or even dress up.  Knowing I was so upset, my mom agreed to let me wear my costume down to MomMom and DaddyDick’s (my dad’s parents), and she would take my brother trick-or-treating.  On his own, my brother decided to take my bag to trick or treat for me and get me candy as well to make up for a terrible Halloween for his little sister.

Thanksgiving also tugs at my heartstrings.  Both of my grandmother’s watch the parades in the morning, if we are not together we call each other to talk about the balloons, the bands, the artists but my favorite is always Hello Kitty which my Gram (my mom’s mom) calls “Miss Kitty.”  Every year after Thanksgiving dinner, the grandchildren all get to make Christmas ornaments with Gram.  She is always so creative with the craft of the year.  My family also celebrates Advent;  for those that do not know, Advent is a period of preparation for Christmas that happens the four Sundays before as well as Christmas Eve.  Advent for us isn’t the traditional Advent, however.  Each week, we do light a candle (1 for week 1, 2 for week 2, and so forth leading to 5 on Christmas Eve), we listen to Christmas music (mainly Johnny Mathis) while ringing jingle bells, telling stories of different memories, ending each week with saying something we are thankful for (excluding friends and family), and end with Gram reading “A Cajun Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve in full Cajun dialect.  On Christmas morning, the children are not allowed to get out of bed until they hear the sound of the Christmas Bell, a tradition that has been carried for decades.  My great grandmother started this to keep the young children in bed until the adults were ready to start the day.  As years have passed, I have found myself cherishing these memories.


I have learned over time that memories are what make your life worth living.  So, take lots of pictures, keep a journal, listen to music, do anything to make a memory!