This photo was taken some time around 1957, two years before I came along.
This image intrigues me for a few reasons. For one, my mother was always the one taking the photos in my family – not that my father was always in the picture – but she was the one that was obsessed with capturing the moment (thank you, mom). It was rare to actually see her in a photo. Had she asked my father to take the picture with her in it, or was it his idea? It would have been unlike him to have requested this photo – he was always in a hurry to get anywhere but where he was, and he would have likely felt impositioned by this request. (I recognize the same qualities in myself, and it has taken me my whole life to accept that I am nearly as restless as my father was.) If it was his idea, how wonderful that he not only took the time to insist on this moment preserved, but that he took the time to notice, really notice, how lovely his young family was, and how beautiful his wife looked with their adorable children.
Everyone is dressed lightly, so I’m guessing that it was taken in the spring, if not summer. Was it a special occasion – a holiday? Or was it a typical Sunday, with my mother having everyone ready to visit the grandparents, once church was over and the play clothes had replaced the Sunday suits and dresses? I’m reading into the photo that my father was slow in taking the picture – the smile on my mother’s face has faded to that “take the picture already” stare – a look that my brother, Steve (the one holding his little brother’s hand) also has, but in a whimsical “I’ll keep this goofy smile for as long as I need to” way.
Two years later, I arrived on the planet. 32 years later, the youngest brother in the photo left unexpectedly. 49 years later, the youngest sister in the photo joined him. Steve, the one with the whimsical look joined my brother and sister in 2014. Just my brother and sister remain, and my beautiful mother, who just turned 89 last month, and is still incredibly beautiful. My father found his peace two years ago, though his restless spirit lives on in me.
Looking at time. A young family on their way to somewhere.