They can be amazing things, can’t they? Our senses have the ability to invoke a memory in an instant. Whenever I open a bag of black walnuts I’m immediately transported to my grandfather’s garage, where he used to spread the walnuts on the floor of the garage and drive over them to crack open the rock-hard shells. My kids know why I weep when I open a bag — I miss my grandad incredibly.
When I left my abuser I had to flee with nothing but my children. While he was living alone in our house he destroyed almost every one of my possessions — including my photographs. When I could finally return to get my things, it grieved me to realize he had burned not only the pictures from my childhood, but every photo he could find of our own children. I was a scrapbooker, so I had a few discs with photos on them that he didn’t find amongst my craft items. They are the only pictures I have left of my kids’ childhood.
We spent 16 years separated from family and friends. During that time, my kids were all born. My parents missed the births of six of their grandchildren. It pains me deeply that I cannot give them back those years. Nor can I redeem that time for my sister and brother. We, too, missed out on a decade and a half of family events — births, deaths, marriages, holidays for which we have no memories.
I planned to take all the photos on those discs and create videos for my family — so that they could have a glimpse at their grandkids’ first few years. My plans changed when the county prosecutor took the discs as evidence for my abuser’s trial. I never got them back.
But I did have a few of the pictures already downloaded. Enough to create one movie for my family. I wish I could give them more…
Sprout’s Beginning (click on the blue words, Dad.)