Looking at Life Through a Camera Lens

This week Grace, a volunteer from Pennsylvania, shares how speaking with the seniors has made her look at life a little differently.

These women inspire me to soak in every moment, take nothing for granted, and live life to the fullest in every stage.

When I joined the GlamourGals club this fall, I entered with the intention of making an impact on the resident's lives. Little did I know, however, that they would make a far greater impact on myself than I them. One particular encounter that made a large impact on my perspective was at our December Holiday Makeover while our conversation reflected on Christmases gone by. One lady shared of her travel as a young adult in Austria on one Christmas Eve, "I was covered to my neck in thick fur blankets- the wind was cold and the ground was covered in sparkling snow. As we rode up into the mountains, we heard no sound except the crunch of snow underneath and the jingling of the bells from the horse's reigns. There were no lanterns, just the silver light of the moon. The sleigh climbed so high, I was sure I could reach out into the sky and grab one of the stars! I had no camera, but my mother always told me to take pictures in my mind. Photos will be lost or damaged, but memories last forever."

Grace Wiedman and some seniors

Grace Wiedman and some seniors

Not only did her story sound straight out of a fairytale, but she told it as if she had been there yesterday. She remembered with shocking clarity! As a person who loves photography, I constantly find myself buried behind my camera, taking snapshot after snapshot. However, her comment about cameras made me stop and think that perhaps by looking through a lens, I am missing an opportunity to make a memory. Beyond just photography, by looking too far into the future, I miss the right now, and the wonderful memories unfolding right in front of me. For many of these elderly ladies, tomorrow is not necessarily guaranteed, and they savor every moment they have. In a world that is constantly keeping busy and pushing ahead, the “now” is often the lost in the “tomorrow”, and years pass in the blink of an eye. These women inspire me to soak in every moment, take nothing for granted, and live life to the fullest in every stage.


Jessica Wallin