Many years ago, I purchased a black paper album at an estate sale. It contained images of a beautiful woman—her loose high school picture fell to the floor the first time I opened the album’s cover. Her smile grabbed me and her warm expression seemed to invite me into her life. I flipped past her wedding picture, a photo of a baby in her arms with a proud husband by her side, and a series of group photos.
The images from the mid-20th century told the story of a good life that at first made me happy, like I was a guest in a comfortable home. However, the reality of the moment soon hit. To me, this woman was really just a nameless face in print; she was left for a stranger to find in a box in a basement. She now seemed abandoned. Lost. Forgotten.