Recently, the Mister and I were walking around a really bad flea market and were not only near the end of the aisles but also the end of our ropes from the frustration of looking at horribly boring merchandise. It was then that I saw them - a large pile of 8mm films.
I went over to them and started reading the handwritten notes on the outside:
Pam and I Decorating The Tree
Pam's Third Birthday Party
Pam and The Rabbits
Pam's Fourth Birthday and the Christmas Snow
There were thirteen films in all and they ranged from the mid-nineteen fifties to the mid-nineteen sixties. I was absolutely dying to see what was on those films. It felt like I was meant to find them and they had this incredible magnetic pull. Which was strange because I didn't even own an 8mm projector. And I'd seen 8mm films for sale before and had never taken them home. Before I knew it, I'd bought several of them and the weekend ended with yes, the purchase of an old film projector. Before long, Pam and her family's memories were playing on our living room wall:
Bit by bit, I went back and got the rest of those films. I've learned since that Pam, the sweet little girl on the films has passed away and that the items from her home were cast off.
Knowing of her early death, it's sad to look at her and her family in the happy times in these films. I feel like I know what's going to happen to her and I want so badly to leap inside of the movie's flickering reels and tell her to enjoy life to it's fullest - to soak it up and then when she thinks that she's had her fill, to soak it up even more. I can't help but wonder why her family didn't keep the films. Maybe it was too sad for them to see her there too.
I'll treasure her movies - her memories - and take good care of them and one day, her collection will merge into mine and be found by someone else - and to them, it will seem like she and I are family. Maybe that's why I found the films that day. In a flea market that I don't usually go to - on that last aisle, on the last shelf.
What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot