Take the pictures.

I might have said this before, but really, take the selfies. Take the candid shots. Get the memories on film, digital card or phone. Don’t listen to the naysayers or those who complain that you snap too many pics or make too many videos. They’ll mean more to you than you’ll ever know. Maybe not today, but eventually, when the people in the pictures no longer linger in your life physically, they will.

Last Monday (June 7, 2021) marked my parents’ 52nd wedding anniversary. However, this observance marked the first without my mom. She passed away in April.

I knew the date was coming. It wasn’t until the Facebook Memories started flooding my timeline that it really hit hard.

Every year for as long as I could remember, I’ve shared an anniversary post for my Facebook-shy parents. The post would garner plenty of likes, loves and comments. My sisters and I would show my parents what relatives and friends said or who “stopped by” with a like or love. They’d appreciate their cyber celebrity status.

Looking to share a sentimental post this year, I searched my phone for the most current photo of my folks together. It turns out that the last one that I snapped of them came on Jan. 2 of this year. We attended a New Year’s dinner at my sister’s boyfriend’s house. There they were, in the warm glow of the dining room, smiling for the camera.

Mom looked like she always did when posing with Dad, like she found her Prince Charming. She thanked God daily for him. They had a beautiful marriage of faith, family, friends and good times. Sure, the bad filtered in, too, but they never wavered when it came to their union. They vowed til death do them part.

The reality that the Jan. 2 pose was the last true picture that I had of them drove me to tears. I am thankful, however, that I have it.

So when my children or my sisters chide me for pulling out my phone and taking pictures, I just smile. When the children grow up, when loved ones pass away, the videos and photos remain steadfast mementos of days gone by and memories made.

Snap away, hit the record button, cherish the moments as they are captured. They’ll be worth their weight in gold some day.