Family Pictures

I just spent a weekend with the family of my childhood -- my 'family of origin'. At one point, we sifted through a life full of pictures of my Grampa, and in so doing we sifted through pictures of ourselves. Small piles or boxes of assorted pictures were strewn out across a long hotel conference table. We sifted through images that spanned roughly 90 years. They were the times before we even existed and pictures were brown; the times before our children existed and glasses were really big. Times of war and peace mixed together, babies and ancestors side-by-side, past and present, back and forth, the pictures eventually found their way into a timeline of piles, then on to big display boards.
We sat and sifted, sorting memories with our cousins now grown and married. Throughout the weekend, I kept stealing glances; looking at them during meals, at the funeral, around the long picture table full of our pasts. There was something really delightful about seeing the remnants of the 5 small cousins I played with, still etched in their 5 adult faces. And there was something better still, about being with my family.
It has been years since that little family group has been together. Just us. It was good to sit side by side and get caught up, and remember; backward and forward like the piles of pictures. I was reminded that nobody makes me cry like my brother. When we were little, it was for meaner reasons, like the stinging rubber-bands he would shoot at me. But, now I cry because his presence hits a soft spot in my life, in a good way. Our family has had our share of life's harships. Ups and downs, like everyone else. But I am blessed to know them so intimately. They are great people and I'm proud of them, each.
So I love that picture of we six together last weekend (below). And I imagine that newest picture will age like all the rest. Someday it will find it's way into a pile somewhere between when we were really small and when we became grey. And maybe our children will sit around the table the same way some day, with their cousins. And they will remember us, and the legacy of family who came before us, and maybe, my sons will make fun of the frumpy shoes I was wearing. You never know how history will play out. But I do know, the pictures keep it honest.

Dad, Mom, Kim, Nate, Me (youngest)

Kim, Me, Mom, Dad, Nate, Grandmother,
and Lonna (youngest)

My Family
Dad, Mom, Lonna, Me, Kim, Nathan



Maureen said...

I'm thinking the 1975 pic had to be the year my sister Paula and I were snookered in to calling your house to see if Nate was home - on behalf of Mary Ellen. And who could blame her? He was clearly HOT.

Kleigh said...

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!
Wow. Thanks for the hearty laugh, Maureen.

Laura said...

loved the pics and the post. good to put faces to the names I hear yout talk about.