In todays crazy hustle and bustle of life we very often neglect the really important things. We go about our daily lives practically on autopilot. We go to work, we complete our chores, we send several text messages and emails throughout our day and every once in a while we send a text to Mum or Granddad, or who ever it may be that pops into our minds. Sadly in some cases, the time we contact them is just on their birthday!
Statistics show that busy Londoners are hands down the worst at keeping in touch with relatives, particularly if they live long distance. Londoners report that holidays and breaks give them a sense of guilt and they never quite feel like they have caught up with their lives. I’m sure this sounds familiar to many of you reading this post. So what happens when our lives are completely saturated and we’re always trying to catch up? Friends and families are put on the back burner, only reserved for holidays and special occasions.
This weeks post is inspired by the story of Collette. Like many of us Collette lives a plentiful, hectic life that she is very grateful for. She has a great job in the city, which she loves but it is very demanding and sees her working long hours. Her evenings and weekends were always reserved for what she called ‘much-needed me time’ and she claimed it never felt long enough before she was back on the grind. Her routine was one of extreme non-stop tasks and she never felt rested. When people would call her for social time, she felt inconvenienced because she just didn’t feel she had the time.
Originally from Leeds, she hadn’t actually been there for nearly three years. She has spent Xmas with friends and would deliver presents to family in the post and call people on Xmas day. She said she would leave the festivities for half an hour to make her Xmas phone calls. As we know life likes to turn on a dime and that’s exactly what happened to Collette.
On Xmas Eve, 2015 Collette’s Mum passed away after suffering an aneurism. Collette was in a basement bar with friends at the time and only received a vague voice mail from her sister in the morning of Xmas day whilst at a friend’s house. When she tried to return the call to see what was so urgent she couldn’t; get through. She assumed it was nothing and told her friends how her sister is overly anxious and she’s probably worried the cat ate some of the Xmas plant. Later that day her sister called her back barely able to speak and when Collette heard the news all she could think was she that she needed to see an image of her mum. Her mum didn’t like having her picture taken and would shy away from camera phones. She asked her sister for a picture and the only one she had was over 5 years ago. Collette didn’t even know how her mum currently looked.
In the New Year, we received a call saying how many people could we photograph at one time.The following week, Collette and 9 of her family members including aunts uncles, nieces and nephews came to see us for a whopping family photo shoot. Collette told us her tragic story and that she would be back every New Year to document how her family is growing. We think that is a beautiful way to commemorate people and only having a ten year old photo of someone as important as your mum is just so disheartening. Pictures really are priceless and so are the people in them.