The Pieces

And the process.

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Scrapbooking is, for me, a wonderfully therapeutic way to process the mysteries of life and the passing of time. It’s a way to take a photo from the 50’s, pages of a journal and a pretty piece of paper and put them together so they tell a story. This page tells a part of my father’s story.

My father worked as an architect. He spent his year of military service in Europe helping to redesign the runways and airfields on American Air Force bases. He then lived in the south of France, where he worked with an architectural firm and formed some life-long friendships. During his years abroad, he traveled extensively and kept journals of his many observations….most of which had to do with architectural details and stylings. Every once in a while, however, I was delighted to discover the philosophical ramblings of my twenty-something dad.

Over the past few months we’ve seen the decline of my elderly father ~ now a shell of his true self. Spending time with his photos, writings, childhood drawings and memorabilia has helped me to feel close to the man I cherish. And I have loved creating a scrapbook that celebrates his many accomplishments.

To look back over a life ~ or an event, a trip, a childhood or a milestone ~ is to remember fragments. Pieces. We have some snapshots, ticket stubs and diplomas...or some letters, drawings, invitations and awards. There is great joy when the pieces come together to create the bigger picture. I always feel, after creating a scrapbook, that the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. That somehow the in-between spaces come to life. And we find warmth and memory and meaning.

Adrienne Scanlon