I’m a total fan of picture walls. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s almost like a movie that you pause on all the best spots featuring the happiest times in your life. It makes me feel good to see the pictures every single day and pass them as I go about my regular work.
I created a picture wall about 20 years ago with a few pictures from my family. I had copies made and started with like five or six pictures and just added one or two pictures here and there over the years. Then when I got married my father-in-law gave me a couple pictures from my husband’s family so we could expand our wall.
Every day when I walk past this wall I feel good seeing it.
It makes me happy to see my family, those that have passed that I loved so much. I was really close to both sets of my grandparents, and I feel lucky to have had them in my life as long as I did. I was at my grandfather’s bedside when he passed, holding him, and he died right in my arms. I got to tell him how much I loved him and how he’ll be at peace now, waiting for each of us as we pass over and being there to welcome us with a big hug.
The picture wall was the one thing that when we finished putting it up in our new house, my hubs said, “Now, we’re home.”
So when I had a blank space in our bedroom I knew I wanted another wall, this time with color pictures of our little family. I imagined frames of all kinds of different shapes and sizes with a variety of color photos. I spotted one frame I loved, waited and waited and waited until it was on sale, and then finally put it up.
I added a couple more and some alphabet letters I painted.
But I waited for almost a year to find cheap frames that were in the color and style I wanted. Guess what? They don’t exist! hahaha
Finally I just started buying frames that were cheap and painted them myself. I added some ephemera to give them some individuality.
I’m so happy with the way it turned out. Every day I look at it and it makes me happy, and that’s what any decoration to your home should do.
When I see this picture wall I think of a poem I wrote decades ago. I wrote it decades before I even met my husband, but I think instinctively I wrote it about him, about the kind of love and family I wanted one day. When I wrote this, I was still in the midst of some horrible things. It would be another decade before I’d have a breakthrough and actively work on changing my life. In the meantime, I could pray and dream and hope for something better. This was a rare poem I actually kept, rather than my habit back then of writing it and ripping it up. I saved it and when I finally published my first poetry book I included it in there.
I see you, my love.
Through a faint picture of things to come.
I see your eyes,
so gentle, so kind.
They drink me in
with passion and patience.
They laugh with me,
they allow me to laugh at myself.
They cry on my shoulder,
through times that seem impossible.
But I see them clearly.
They are waiting for me,
to recognize them as
the eyes of the one who loves me.
They are waiting for me,
not at a place,
but in time.
© Cherie Burbach, “In Time,” The Difference Now, 2004
This poem is from my book, The Difference Now.