I'm very lucky to have a box of very old photographs to help personalise my exploration of my family tree. Some even have names written in beautiful script on the back of them to help identify the subjects; "Uncle Harry" for example, who was the youngest son of my great, great grandparents and my Gran's uncle. It makes it all the more poignant and real when the subjects of these pictures reached an early demise. Uncle Harry and his brother, my Great Grandfather, were both among the many casualties of WWI...
Similarly it's very special to have some pictures of my Grandma and her sisters when they were young and beautiful and the world was a much less complicated place.
Another amazing thing to have (loaned from my mother while I scan and transcribe them) is the letters my Grandfather wrote to my Grandmother when he was away in the airforce. They married in 1944 and the tender, romantic, adoring tone of these letters is so very touching. Add to this the fact that she kept the letters to her dying day, 29 years as his wife and 33 years as his widow, and the are very emotive reading. I know that she never forgot him and that he was always in her thoughts even when she became very old and very frail and confused about everything else she was always constant in her love for her beloved Jimmy.
I am not a believer in life after death, certainly not in the traditional "heaven and hell" sense. However I like to think that, with time and space being the tangled mess of knots that they are thought of most often these days, somewhere Marj & Jimmy will always be young & together and in love. That sort of thing never ends.
2 days ago