I found an old photo album which had belonged to my maternal grandmother, evidently the majority of the memories inside were from her 1969 honeymoon with her second husband. Instead of photographs, the scrapbook was full of postcards. Nothing’s written on the back of any of them, they were simply purchased to keep as a memory in lieu of pictures. My grandmother was never much of a photographer, so it was a clever idea to collect postcards for a scrapbook.
Unfortunately, she didn’t write the correct year, so I wouldn’t actually know as much as I do if it weren’t for my mother. Grandma wrote “1979 honeymoon” on the first page, and that’s all. So I just assumed maybe they took a second honeymoon and went to Miami Beach. Mom told me their honeymoon was actually in 1969, and not only did they go to Miami Beach, they also went to New Orleans and Jamaica. So while I just thought these postcards were from trips, it turns out pretty much all of them were from their honeymoon.
I do wish there were some actual photographs to go along with the postcards, the cards alone are extremely impersonal and therefore not sentimental to me at all. A friend of mine collects vintage postcards, so after making sure it’s okay with mom, I sold these all to her. It’d be one thing if these were pictures my grandmother or grandfather had taken, but honestly, I looked through all these and simply shrugged. I can look up vintage postcards online, but the trip through the eyes of my grandparents would’ve been a lot more interesting to me.
This is why I’m very surprised when I meet people who aren’t interested in documenting their life at all. They don’t take pictures, they don’t make scrapbooks, they don’t keep a diary or blog, they don’t write letters or emails. In fact, for a lot of people, the closest they come to documenting their life is a Facebook status or a couple of sentences on Twitter. My grandmother may have had a scrapbook full of postcards instead of photographs, but at least she documented her honeymoon and was able to verify my mother’s knowledge on where they’d gone. I don’t know any more than that, but at least I know something.