Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Treasured Family Albums

The other day my father-in-law gave me the scrapbooks that my mother-in-law had made, in the past, for safe keeping. He knows how much they mean to me and for the sake of the grand kids to have in the future - he knows I will preserve them for all the kiddos.


It brought me to tears looking at them as it brought back many memories of all the years my MIL and I scrap booked together and how much we enjoyed that time. These albums are so precious as they contain her voice in many ways. Alzheimer's is such an awful thing in that you can still see the "image and sound" of the person you know, but they're not the true person they were anymore.  These albums contain her journaling of the memories of family, and so in many ways the true "voice" of the woman I knew back when...




One of the albums had this layout - which I think is one of my favorites. My MIL came up with the idea to write down a lot of fun stories about first dating my FIL and putting them on the page like fabric pieces on this quilt fabric looking card stock paper. She then titled it: "Pieces of My Memory Quilt" which is so perfect. She did these pages years before she knew she was to have Alzheimer's and memory issues.


This story especially cracked me up of my MIL dating my FIL and he was a smooth operator and offered her a choice between his "collection" of rings. But she would have none of it and saw one he was wearing and said she wanted THAT one. Lol


In all my MIL through her capable years made: 

*a heritage album with all the history of both sides of the family (hers and my FIL's), 

*several family albums through the years (starting from the infancy of my MIL & FIL and running all through their boys' weddings and grandkids being born etc), 

*and she made a special album for each of her boys (my hubby & his Bro) that covers from their birth through to graduation. 


These are such treasured albums not only for the parts of her true spirit in them, but also for the history preserved there that we wouldn't really know if she hadn't written it all down as they have a small family and not many relatives living that have the family information anymore.  


So I thank God for the blessing of that day almost 14 years ago when I said to my MIL "I think I'm going to go to these scrapbooking classes and look into this as a hobby, do you want to join me?" And she said yes...


12 comments:

  1. This is such a bittersweet post. I think it's so nice that you have had such a close relationship with your mother-in-law. Something I've never had. What a treasure to have these scrapbooks that she spent hours on. It is hard to watch your loved one become lost to any dementia issues, but how wonderful that she was able to capture all these special life moments for you and your family to enjoy.
    Wendy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Wendy.

      I feel so blessed that I did have that close relationship with my MIL, and I love her like my own Mom. And I do feel so lucky to have these albums as a forever piece of her and all of our treasured family history and memories. xoxo

      Delete
  2. Those scrapbooks are such a treasure! The books are a treasure and so are the memories of the time spent creating them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen Mari!
      I love that in one of my MIL's albums she did a whole layout on us (my sister-in-law and me) scrapbooking at her house. So a treasured memory captured of us preserving memories. Lol
      xoxo

      Delete
  3. Scrapbooks are such treasures! My daughter and I went to see the movie Still Alice at our library and it was so emotional... Each day is a wonderful memory...

    Blessings,
    Jill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed Jill - they are a treasure!

      I have seen ads and read about that movie and it does look excellent (I love Julianne Moore too). But I'd have to rent that one at home on a strong day as I think I will fall apart sobbing watching it as it hits so close to home. ;)

      xoxo

      Delete
  4. Oh Carrie, what a treasure, what a joy. Amazing. [I just watched the film 'Vincent' last night (with Bill Murray) and am still thinking of his wife in that story (she had Alzheimer's), it was heart-wrenching...I feel for you all, it must be so, so difficult to cope with]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I hadn't heard about that movie - will have to look it up. It truly is so heartbreaking and wouldn't wish it on anybody. We have good days and bad days like anyone does, but it's gut wrenching sometimes to spend so much time with someone who is like a stranger now. Really sad.

      thanks for kind thoughts Helen. xoxo

      Delete
  5. Oh, Carrie - this just brings tears to my eyes! How special these albums truly are and what a wonderful gift of love, time and memories that you and your dear MIL shared together. Alzheimer's is such a terrible disease, taking away the sweet memories and history of our loved ones. As you know my Father had Alzheimer's and it is very heartbreaking to witness. It is such a precious gift that you have her scrapbooks and that YOU were the catalyst in helping her preserve those dear family memories - even if you didn't know the true significance at the time. I am go glad that you have these sweet records to pass down. You are also a very special DIL - I hope you know that. Hugs xo Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now it's your turn to get me choked up.

      Thanks so much Karen and I take that big hug. I know you are someone that relates all too well with what I'm going through and it means A LOT to me.

      I feel so blessed for all the good times my MIL and i shared and still try to share today. I know it's cliche but each day truly is a gift and in reality none of us get any guarantees so we all need to appreciate every minute. I think caregiving for my MIL has taught me that above all else. Enjoy every precious moment with our loved ones!!

      God bless sweet and beautiful Friend. xoxo

      Delete
  6. That was funny about the rings, fancy having a collection! How special that you're now the guardian of your family history, Carrie. It must be so difficult at times to care for your MIL, remember that you are so special too. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Alison. Your words go straight to my heart. I know I'm not alone and that, unfortunately, there are many who walk the same caregiver journey. My hope is that I'm reading more and more about doctors and scientists being on the verge of amazing new drugs and treatments to hopefully end this horrible disease!!

      God bless xoxo

      Delete