Monday, October 29, 2012

A picture is worth....

I've been thinking about Facebook a lot lately...and not just because I'm on it all the time.

I was, and still am, drawn to Facebook for its ability to connect with family and friends that are scattered, as well as those close by that are just too busy for face-to-face time.

I love that it allows me into their lives through their status updates and pictures. Seeing their faces thrills me as do the umpteen nature shots, city shots, bathroom mirror poses, pets, children...the list is endless. 

I post a lot of pictures, but rarely are they of me. Except for lately - I've been trying to be less of the 'hermit me' and more of the 'HERE I AM' me. The latter me is tough on a giant scale of hugeness, because I didn't (and still don't) like pictures of me. I'm very, very slowly getting over my hatred of seeing myself on least from the neck up. Baby steps, steps.

Recently I posted this picture:

It's a pretty decent picture of me, I will admit. There are at least 3 dozen things I could point out that are bad, but I won't.

I also posted this picture of me doing my Medusa impression:

And this picture with my awesome red lipstick (smooch):

Sick of me yet?

Yeah, me too. 

But I've decided that I might need to keep posting pictures of myself, NOT out of vanity or an appreciation for how good I look in that shade of red lipstick. That was a compliment I just gave myself...I know! The world didn't implode or anything...go figure.

I'm posting them because I want to be remembered.  There was a long comment thread after I posted the first picture where I discussed trying to become less hateful when someone traps my image on film - basically an attempt to become more accepting of how I look and more comfortable being immortalized in pictures. My friend Claire had this to say,  "Here's how I look at it. I have very VERY few pictures of my parents. Whether you like the way you look or not, Facebook and other social media are helping us preserve a little piece of us for generations to come. It'll count sooo much when we're gone and our kiddos have faces to associate with the memories."

There are very few real pictures of me in my house. Whenever a camera appears, I'm like to leap couches and dive behind doors in a single bound. Up until recently I was fine with my children remembering me from whatever image they held in their memories. But, it isn't fair, really...because I know all too well how wonderful it is to see pictures of my grandparents when I pass by my mantle.

The very real reality is that Facebook is becoming more than just a way to stay connected to the living, it is also a way to memorialize those that have passed. Several of my friends, as well as myself, are still 'friends' with someone who has died. For me it is my friend Karen, who lost her battle with breast cancer a little over a year ago. I don't mean to sound morbid, but I know the chances of more 'friends' passing on and leaving their Facebook page behind as a legacy is very likely. I might even next.

I've struggled with deleting Karen's page from my list, be is an ever present reminder that we are not immortal and we don't get to choose when our time here is up. But, I think I'd miss seeing her smiling face even more, so friends we shall remain.

So, those thoughts I have of posting pictures of myself when I'm thinner and feel better about myself are out the window. I'm going to crack open the silly and pour it on thick - there will be pictures of me (fat or thin) making silly faces at my kids. There will be pictures of me kissing my husband (some day my kids will think its cute instead of gross) and there will be pictures of me showing off a good hair day (they are few and far between - see above) or a new shade of racy red lipstick.

My goal will NOT be to gather oodles of compliments from my friends, I'm not an attention whore who loves the spotlight, I swear.  My goal is simply to create a memory wall that will live beyond me and (hopefully) bring some joy to those I leave behind - provided that they and Facebook survive the inevitable zombie apocalypse. I'm a slow runner, I know I'll be among the first to get eaten.

So, if we are Facebook friends then enjoy the pictures of me, pre-zombified. And please, make sure to post many of yourself as well...just in case you are a slower runner than me.

And...finally, answer me this - 

Are you still 'friends' on Facebook with someone who has passed away?
How does it make you feel? 



  1. I've loved all of your photos 'cause I like seeing my peoples.

    1. Ditto! I love seeing everyone's photos...all of them!

  2. I love the red lipstick photo and I think it is great to see more of you!

    1. It is an awesome shade of 'look at me' red.

  3. I love this post and I love your pictures and I love you. Because I have not found quite the bravery I need to cast away my doubts and fears as you have, I will simply say I am in awe of how gorgeous you are...inside AND out.

    1. The courage to do it did not, still does not, come easy. I posted a picture of me all sweaty and puffy after a strenuous walk...I hate it. But, it's me. The glamorous, the quirky and the's all going up there for the world (which, by the way, is only my 'friends'...I do covet privacy settings ya know) to see. As for fears and doubts, I have them still and they are fierce in their fight to keep me subdued...I just need to out wit them...I'm trying. Thank you for the most generous and wonderful comment, I appreciate it so much.

  4. Yeah, my friend Gina has been gone for a few years now. I visit her webpage as I would a grave. I leave notes for her and tell her things. Mostly that I miss her. And whenever someone losses their battle with cancer I go to her Facebook page. I love her and she is still there in memorial for me. Melissa, you are beautiful. I love all your photos, but my favorite is your silly face with your curls! Lucky girl you have curls! love you!

  5. I love your pictures!!!

  6. Anonymous8:28 AM

    I love all of your pictures here, Melissa. Yes, even the goofy Medusa one. lol! But my favorite is the 1st one. You look very natural and beautiful in it. I wish I look half as good. Sigh! :)

    And I say that you should keep your friend's picture on Facebook. Her smiling face will always be a reminder of what she meant to you.

    Love you, Amiga!

  7. Oy. Pictures of me are far and few between. I'm just not there yet. And admire those who are.

    As far as a legacy, I have long thought about journals for each of my kids, with special pictures, handwritten thoughts... something physical that they can touch and feel... just like I did when I was making them. Ya know?!