I have always enjoyed listening to the music of the late James Joseph Croce, better known to the world simply as Jim Croce. His was a very unique style of music, especially the ballads that he wrote and sang. Two of my favorite songs by Jim are “Time In A Bottle” and “Photographs and Memories”. Though those songs were written to commemorate special moments in his own life, as I listen to them, each in their own way, especially the song “Photographs and Memories”, have a special meaning to me.
Maybe I am just a sentimental guy, but I love looking through old photo albums and reminiscing about the days of yesteryear. Someone once said, “I’ve learned that good-byes will always hurt, pictures will never replace having been there, memories good and bad will bring tears, and words can never replace feelings.” I have found that there is a world of truth in that statement as I look through the pages of old family photo albums. Some of the photographs are as fresh as the day that they were taken, and yet there are others that are now faded, tattered, and torn from age.
There is a story behind each photograph in the albums that I have. As I look at the photographs my mind begins to be flooded with some precious memories of days gone by, and the special people who helped make those days so precious and memorable. If the photographs in my albums could talk, they would tell of some of the most wonderful times, and of times that were not as wonderful. Sometimes I cannot help but wish that I could go back in time for just a little while to visit with some of the people in the pictures and visit some of the places that each photograph represents. Although the photographs can help bring to remembrance some very special moments in my life, none of the photographs can ever replace having actually been there. I must admit that at times tears do come to my eyes as I realize that all that I have are those old photographs to visually remember those days of yesteryear.
Some of the places that are pictured no longer exist, and the people have grown older or have long since departed this life. Through the years I have stood at the grave sides of several of the dear ones in those photographs, to include my mother and father, and said my good-byes for a short season, and yes, those good-byes have hurt.
I don’t believe that there are any words that could ever adequately express the true feelings that I have as I turn the pages of the old family photo albums. The photographs in those albums are more than just a bunch of old pictures, they are indeed precious memories. And sometimes I cannot help but be empathetic of Jim Croce’s words in his song “Time In A Bottle” as I too often wish that I could put time in a bottle and make some days last forever.