Wednesday, April 7, 2010

see mj write: day 7 {a photo that makes you happy}

i've been given the monumental task of recording my grandpa's 89 year history.

okay, i gave myself the task.

but it wasn't really my fault. i was at work one day about six years ago. i didn't really love my job and it consisted of mindless i let my mind wander. and wander it did. i kept getting this nagging feeling to interview my grandpa. i put it off. and then the nagging continued. so i called him up and scheduled a date to go and talk to him. i came prepared with a video camera and loads of questions and i think it turned out to be a great interview.

and then, sadly, my grandpa died just eight months later.

and now, i have to compile it all, along with thousands of pictures ,and create a book. that's my fault too. i'm not the kind of person who can just 3-hole punch a few stories and scotch tape some pictures alongside and call it good. i want it to be great. i want to be proud of it. i want it to adequately reflect the wonderful life that was his. i don't want to leave anything out. and so...because i secretly know it will never be's still not done. it's barely started. but it's started. and it's {one of} my next big projects. and now that i've admitted it, i guess i have to follow through. hmmm.

anyway, because i've had the privilege to hear, firsthand, so many incredible stories and see so many beautiful pictures, i have many reasons to feel happy and blessed to be a part of his life. so i chose this photograph to illustrate something that makes me happy.

i love this picture for a lot of reasons. first, i love it, because i love my grandpa. he's super cute, don't you think? he's blood. he's family. my family makes me happy.

second, he's in the navy. i'm so blessed to live in a free county. my freedom makes me happy.

third, when in the navy, you have to physically exert yourself. exercising gives me endorphins and makes me happy.

fourth, when in the navy, you also hopefully have downtime. vegging makes me happy.

fifth, he's reading the scriptures. i'm a religious person. my religious beliefs and knowledge make me happy.

sixth, this photograph was taken circa 1945. for some reason, this time period fascinates me. i know it was a horrendous time for many reasons, but learning more about it makes me happy.

and really, i love this picture because there's a story behind it. it's not just a picture. it's a person. i've invested many maren hours learning about and loving this person and it just makes me happy.

and this picture, taken in 2004 on the day i interviewed him, makes me happy too.


Alyse Burt said...

I also loved Grandpa Smith. He was such an amazing example to Ryan. Thanks for doing the book. Spencer is Spencer Perry after all and I would love a copy. Are you doing it on Heritage Makers? I thought I heard that some time ago, I could be wrong.

Julia Wade said...

What an amazing project. I was so inspired by you the first time you mentioned it to me. Makes me want to do the same.

Seriously, though. You are inspiring Mare. :) Great post.

Erica said...

i think you might be the best person I know.

Amy said...

What an incredible project! That will be one treasured book, I'm sure. I haven't had grandparents since I was 9, but I always think about the things I'd ask them if they were still around.

t.t.turner said...

Maren, you are amazing. Seriously!

Dan and Heather said...

Prampa makes me happy too- I'm thinking I'll definitely need a copy of that book too since Cannon is going to be named after him- he really was an AMAZING man.

Rebecca Parker said...

Grandpa Perry will live on through you:) How cool! Love all the angles you took on the single pic, so would be great to read the whole hist when you're done-not like you have a lotta spare time, but hey! Your writing makes me happy, so can only imagine what it will mean to your family to finish the printed tribute too:)