Early in my adult life I traveled for my job. Some travel took me short distances for brief overnights. Other trips were adventures to far-off lands. I visited places where English was not the primary language and even though I was often with a large group of people and I was an adult, I still found myself homesick.

Because I was working on most of these trips, I could feel depleted, tired and lonely… and at the time, I rarely called home. Sometimes I went as long as two weeks without speaking to anyone in my own family including my husband.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved these adventures. I’ll always remember visiting the rain forests of Costa Rica or the open savannahs of Kenya… I’m grateful for the experiences and all that I learned. And, still, in a quiet moment on one of these trips I could find myself longing for my loved ones.

Today, I came across a small photo album I made for this kind of travel. Its cover and pages are worn. Yet it contains photos of my family members—those I might long to see while away on an adventure. My photos include one of my husband and me on our wedding day, another of him sleeping with a puppy we once had, my colleagues and I atop elephants at the zoo and a friend and I walking the beach. There are pictures of other places I’ve been and of the people I love.

It struck me in looking at this album that it might be comforting to create another. In this one I might assemble precious pictures of those I’ve loved and lost. I could create an album where their faces shine out at me in moments of laughter, joy, celebration or simply being together. It could feature cherished memories—my father dancing with me at my wedding, a quiet afternoon with my mother in her garden, my grandmother holding me as a child… and my beloved dog Molly on my lap—me with a balloon hat on my head.

Then, when I’m feeling lost or far from home; homesick for those I’ve loved who have died, I could pull out a “travel” photo album and refresh my memories. I could do just what I did in a remote hammock in Costa Rica—rest for a few moments in the light and love of that relationship. I could sigh, relax, breathe in and out and recall my father’s hugs or my mother’s laugh. I could sit with a cup of tea and tell my parents a story about my day. Or I could write a story about what’s happening in the picture or what happened in the moments after the picture was taken.

I could use this comfort photo album any time I needed it to remember. The photo album could be just like my travel album; connecting me with the “home” of those I love.