The Photographs | Teen Ink

The Photographs

November 3, 2013
By PoetAndYouKnowIt PLATINUM, Westfield, New Jersey
PoetAndYouKnowIt PLATINUM, Westfield, New Jersey
26 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There will always be someone who is smarter than you. Skinnier than you. Stronger than you. More popular than you. There will always be someone better than you, but there will never be someone who is YOU."

Some people called her crazy. Some called her stupid, while others didn't even bother. I wasn't anyone of those people. For me, it was different. She was my Grandmother.

For as long as I can remember, my Grandma had carried a Nikon camera in her purse. Taking hundreds of photographs. She did not take photos of us, or our family. Nothing like that at all. For my Grandma took photos of nature.

She would snap hundreds of photos just in one day. At the park, the garden, the playground, in town, when we were out, just taking a stroll in the neighborhood. Anything that involved going outside.

Now of course, being an elder and all, she didn't believe in our, “technology media,” or all of our “fancy gizmos and gadgets”. So, she printed out every single picture. Soon, whenever we would visit her, her room would be filled over the top with boxes. All jammed with the photographs.

Then, as I aged on, her room was not enough. So shortly, her entire house was condensed with the endless boxes and pictures. Of trees, bushes, shrubs, flowers, weeds, grass, vegetable plants, apple trees, blueberry bushes, you name it.

When I was younger, I used to always question my parents about the absurd behavior I had observed from my Grandmother. They would never answer me though, but since I was just a child, I had accepted the silence. When I grew older though, I began to demand answers.

Finally, when I was about 13 I think, my parents finally spilled. It was on one of those frequent nights when I was carrying on and having one of my many teenage rants.

“John,” my mother had said to my father. “I think it’s time.”

“But honey, we…” he trailed off trying to find an excuse.

That evening was one that I would never, ever, forget. My mom told me to sit down in the kitchen. She made my reluctant father sit down too.

“Look,” she said trying to look me in the eyes. “Many years ago, when you were just a toddler, we took your Grandma to a mental facility in the city. You didn't come with us. We had Kelly look after you. We, we thought your Grandmother was sick. Like, in the head.” She paused, looking up at me, as if her eyes were saying; it’s your turn to talk now.

I wasn't really sure what to say, or what to think anymore.

“You, you thought she was a loon?” Was all I could manage.

“Well, yes, I guess so. We knew it wasn't normal for her to take so many pictures, and the doctors agreed. We took her to over 10 different specialists, but nobody could find anything wrong with her. Your father and I were scared. She seemed to be getting worse and worse every second.”

She didn't elaborate so I pushed on. “What do you mean, how did she get worse?”

Finally, my father stepped in on the conversation, trying to give my mother a break.

“Well, as she got down to her final years, she first refused to eat anything. Then she wouldn't sleep. But only those solemn nights we she did sleep, she would wake up in the middle of the night screaming. “

The words had made me shiver. Now I knew I had to know the truth.

“Did you ever ask her why she took all the photos, Dad?”

His face turned white and he wouldn't look at me, neither would my mother. Nobody said anything for an eternity. The deafening silence burned into me like lava. I couldn’t bear the burden of not knowing any longer.

“Mom, Dad, please,” I begged.

My Mom nodded her head of approval to my dad. Finally, she looked up at me.

“She said that one day all the trees, and grass, and nature would all be dead. Because of our selfishness and ignorance and that one day we would thank her later for saving the memories, and not letting the seed die.”

A tear rolled down my cheek and my throat constricted so much that I was struggling for air.

Suddenly, everything made sense and finally knew why. Some people called her crazy. Some called her stupid, while others didn't even bother. I wasn't anyone of those people, and I finally knew why. For me, it was different. I believed her.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.