By Ellender Boudreaux
In March of 2009, I received a call from my sister-in-law, Ruby. I had not heard from the family since December, when I got a Christmas card from them. After telling me hi, she told me my brother wanted to talk with me.
When she gave him the phone, and he began to talk to me, I could tell he was crying.
He immediately told me, “I have cancer, it’s in my liver, in my brain, and in my colon. They want to put me in the hospital and decide the treatment that will prolong my life for a few months. If I do not take any treatments, I probably have only a couple of months to live. I have decided not to take any procedures to fight the cancer; I feel it will only continue the pain. I have lost so much weight that I do not feel like fighting any longer.”
I told him to do whatever he needed to do to keep from having too much pain, and we would see him in a few days.
I decided to make a copy of the stories I had written about our growing up, and put them into a book, and add pictures we had taken through the years, to remind him of the good life we had experienced.
As I opened the album and looked at the old pictures that were taken many years before, I saw our family as we were then. I looked at the photos taken of my mom and the six of us children. I saw the pain she was enduring after the death of our father.
As I looked through the book for other photos, I saw our joys and sorrows come into view. Here to remember were photos of our school years, our working days, and our marriages. Each picture a story remembered.
As I continued to look, there were the pictures of Donald and his brother, Oliver, he loved so much.
Now, as I look for more, there are pictures of a kid, eighteen, in an army uniform, then his return from the Korean War. Following his return photos, I found a picture of two happy people in a wedding photo. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Texas, and the pictures were less and less as their lives became too busy for visits back home.
When we did get together, we always used our cameras to remember these visits of Christmas, Easter, happy times and sad visits, like funerals of love ones.
We did make our trip to Texas last week. It was a good day, even though we knew it could be our last visit with my brother.
We took those memory photos, and now as I look at them, I see in the group, the changes the passing years have made.
The four of us, Donald, Joyce, Mildred, and me were still happy to be together that day, however, one sister was not able to be with us. Wanda and her husband, Don are in a nursing home, but I will put her picture there with the rest of us.
As I closed the album, I realize that nothing will be as it once was, and that the old family album is a priceless possession to save forever. What a wonderful thing to be able to go back in time and see recorded on film, our lives as we lived it through the years.