We visit our family in the Phillippines every after two years. It gives me a lot of time to prepare. I keep a list of things that we wanna do, stuff that we need to take with us, and documents. This way, it won’t be too stressful to think and try to remember everything. The list is all I need to check if everything is covered.
Of course, I never and will never forget to take my camera with me. I must have it when we go places especially to this country, where I was born and raised, went to college, got my first job and where I experienced a lot of traveling. I was not into photography and blogging then.
So, when we were vacationing I realize I did not take any pictures of my family that looks professionally done. It was on my list to get beautiful portrait of my nieces and nephews, and a family picture with my mom and my siblings with their spouses. All I got are snap shots. I have one family picture that somebody took during our family reunion. I am grateful for that, at least I got one.
I realized though that my daughter and I get to spent a lot of quality time with my family, considering that there were no shopping malls and restaurants to hang out with due to Super Typhoon Yolanda. We were able to stay home more, visit friends and family instead of going somewhere else.
The weather was not gracious. We were not that lucky to experience a lot of sunny days. We had four days of heat and humidity, and the rest were heavy rainy days. We could not hop on a boat to cross the islands to visit other family members due to the typhoon.
There were lots of moments I wish I were quick enough to seal it with a click of my camera. I regretted that I forgot to take a picture of me and my close friend. We were classmates in high school until college. I could have a great souvenir. I could have ask my brother to take a picture of myself with the orphanage’s administrator. I did not think that the later would be valuable to show my friends where their monetary contribution went.
I know that time being shared together is more important than getting perfect images of your love ones. I agree that photos helps you remember those simple moments – snap shots are okay though. It does not have to be professionally done.
I realized I get to talk to my mom a lot, had karaoke in the house, cook and ate Filipino dishes that I don’t normally make here (USA), washed the dishes for her, clean her house, ride the tricycle almost everyday, go with her to doctor’s appointment and lab work, took her and the family for a one day tour around Leyte and stop at a resort, went to the cemetery to visit my Dad’s tomb, hosted a grand family reunion (not just my mom’s immediate family but the clan). We did a lot of things I would say. These may seem not a lot of fun but the time we had, I am so grateful. The memory and most importantly the joy of being around with my family is all that matters. I lived with them all my life and moved here in the USA, so when I get the opportunity to go home I try to enjoy the best that I can. It does not have to be picture perfect. As what my husband would tell me, “Get A Life”! He meant, it’s okay to put my camera down so I won’t miss the most important part of life – human connection and the “NOW” moment.
I think, the only way to have a perfect image of life is when you spend it with the ones you love. When you are able to give your time, it is when you can create a moment and that becomes a memory. A perfect image you can keep.