Every Memory Has an Emotion

Every Memory Has an Emotion

Every Memory Has an Emotion


The past interjects a basic response in us all…and that’s emotion.

In the dark back corner of the closet, the old blue marbled, white edged, Samsonite Shwayder overnight case might not be the most obvious candidate for memories. Oh sure, it had seen many trips to interesting places in its day. This little sturdy Shwayder was the kind of case that ladies would carry on a plane. They would put their jewelry, valuables, cosmetics and overnight essentials to take on board, while the bigger luggage would be checked in.  

I took the Shwayder out of the closet and as I went to open the case, I remembered every time I tried to open it when I was a small child, it would somehow pinch my finger as I clicked the brass buttons that unlocked the case. This time that darn button would not get my finger and cause a blood blister. When the case unlocked, I opened the lid. I immediately could smell the photo paper mixed with the closed luggage smell. I could see the stacks of old photographs piled into the small suitcase. I’m not sure how the Shwayder ended up being the keeper of all of our precious memories.  I highly doubt that anyone really realized this piece of luggage would have such an important task when it was first purchased. 

There were a multitude of photographs in the suitcase. Some were professionally taken at a portrait studio. They had the fancy border cut that made them seem more elegant than the others. Casual snapshots of family around the house or at a picnic, travel photos and a few passport photos outtakes of my Mom in all of her sunburned glory. Even in black and white you could see the severity of her sunburn. Her skin tone in the black and white photo translated to a weird gray that looked a little strange. I asked her why she got such a sunburn, right before having her picture taken. And her reply was, “ I just wanted to get a little color so I would look nice for my picture and I fell asleep.” 

The travel photos, candid snippets of time when my parents were young. It brings joy watching their trek through many countries via their trusty Chevrolet. As I thumbed through the old black and white photographs, the photos at the top of the pile were of my father. My Dad with his dark wavy lightly oiled hair, in very fashionable pleated pants and blazer complete with a fedora. He looked like he could be in a film noir movie as Humphrey Bogart’s trusted side-kick. And my Mom, ever-fashionable, curled and styled golden blonde hair, her beautiful flowy dress, with purse and shoes to match, very reminiscent of Grace Kelly. Every outfit is impeccably styled and never overdone and completely lady-like. I’m not sure how they stayed so fresh looking without air conditioning. 

I looked at all the photographs laid out over the carpet. A whole lifetime of love, joy and happiness all spread out, each one telling their own unique story. The sweet memories of days past with photographs to chronicle the evolution of lives lived and enjoyed.

Realizing one thing for certain, love lives on through memories. And in the Shwayder that keeps our valuable memories and protects those precious memories that we can no longer relive.  

Almost everyone has a collection of photographs tied to a million memories. Every family snapshot tells a story that lives on thorough time. Make sure you bring out those photographs and share them with other family members as time goes by.