He fell to the floor, fluttering like an autumn leaf, end over end. The photo was tiny,  – almost like a large postage stamp, easily slid between the cracks in the wood. When my client picked him up off the rug she caught a first glimpse of the dark, sepia tone image – a face lost in time, not seen for many years? I had been decluttering my client in preparation for her move from the family home. The huge dining room table had ample crevices, rarely jostled. This time the photo fell out. She had never seen it in all the years she owned the table.

After taking a snap I Photoshopped up the image to bring out the hidden face. I could not do him justice. It once more made me think of the passage of time, of times and lives past. Here was a young man, alive and vibrant staring back from the early 1800’s. Obviously well off as few could afford their portrait taken in those times. It makes one reflect on the proliferation of selfies in our modern times, how taken for granted and easy to save a moment.

Now and then clients give me a pile of photos, whole albums of family members, friends and even total strangers with forgotten names – all long gone. Few care about that loss of history, of lives come and gone. Nobody archives the photos nobody cares about. All those moments vanish forever. If only we had a database to input into – snaps and portraits with as much information as possible simply archived in memory of all of our stories and the passage of time. YouPhoto for all those faces staring back from their moments alive in time.

It makes you appreciate each moment and not waste it on bad movies, useless video games, reality TV nits – hour after hour, year after year when you can be out appreciating good friends and family while they are with us.

Stephen ilott – Organizing saving memories from his company Decluttering.ca in Oakville and serving the western GTA: 416-460-8098 – info@decluttering.ca www.decluttering.ca.