Friday, November 13, 2009


With facebook I've been able to catch up with lots of childhood friends, and even some of my relatives. I get to see pictures of them and their families. Recently I've become more conscious of the feelings stirred up when I see the pictures.
I see pictures of families laughing - not those forced smiles that appear in my family photos.
I see the same people in the same photos through the years - not changing faces every year as new boyfriends, girlfriends and others come in and out of my life.
I see candid shots - instead of posed and forced pictures.
I see holiday shots with parents having fun - not the look of "how much longer must I pretend to like these people?"
I see pictures of parents and kids partying and having a great time, without the knee high stack of beer cans that appear in my family photos.
I read captions where kids poke fun of their parents and parents poke fun of their kids in a absolutely funny fashion - not the sarcastic mean comments that would appear on my photos.
I see families hugging, arms thrown around each other, laughing and obviously caring for each other - sometimes rabbit ears or faces made behind someone - not the "oh my gosh do I have to touch them" pictures of my family.
Sometimes the photos make me laugh. Sometimes they make me cry. Often they make me wish I could leap through the photo into that family.


lawyerchik said...


Just thought that might help. :)

If you were here (or I were there), I would totally put bunny ears behind your head in a picture!!

My biggest "family photo" regret is that my mom never liked having her picture taken when I was younger, so there aren't many photos of us as a family for me to even look at.

Fortunately, she's gotten better about it now, but there are a few from when I was a kid that have her with a forced smile on her face and a stiff "I can't believe you're taking a picture of me" affect.

what was harder was watching home movies from right after I was born and from my first Christmas and birthday, and seeng my mom being totally elsewhere - there are no pictures of her holding me, her first child, at all during my first year or so.

My dad was the one who held me and "wanted" to be in those movies with me. By my second Christmas, there are home movies with my mom holding my sister, but never me. ....

Anonymous said...

Once again I am taken aback by the paralell similarities of our lives.

I remember seeing photos of my father at family functions as he aged. Everyone seemed genuinely happy and enjoying themselves.

I kept thinking, "How can they be having fun with HIM?! Don't they know how he used to beat me? Don't they know about his womanizing?"

The grandchildren (especially) would always talk to me about how wonderful Papa was and how funny he was when he would tell them the Cajun Night Before Christmas story.

I always bit my tongue and never ever said anything negative about him to them.

Eventually over time (a couple of decades actually) I could see the difference in my aged father. He was no longer the alcoholic, angry young father who used to beat me so severely. He had matured (mellowed) he had claimed his rightful position of the loving Family Patriarch. But still...

I remember sitting on his death bed at the hospital. Looking at him with all the tubes and monitors, him having that grayish look to him and me holding his hand still frightened of him.

I will never forget him squeezing my hand so hard that it hurt and saying to me, "I love you son. I am proud of you." I wept like a little boy. I knew that was his way of asking for forgiveness.

I have gone on now to ensure that I make good memories with my children and grandchildren; determined to do some things differently because of my upbringing.

Enola I am so sorry that you were not able to have that moment of closure with the man who was your father.

But the good news is that you get to write a new book with your family. In the end, regardless of what rocky road we travel through life, we each are the authors of our own books. As the sole author of our book we alone determiine what is written on each paage, paragraph and chapter. What we write will determine our epitaph.

(((((cyber HUGS)))))

Anonymous said...

I have a picture in my office of us and another young family- we went to one of those vintage photography places where we all dressed up like we were from the Civil War era...we were all feeling kind of silly. The other guy dressed up like a general from the South, and I was a Union General...anyway, it is one of my personal keepsakes. I know what you mean about pictures making you laugh or cry.

Laurie-Ann said...

mscc54...I always get something I need from Enola's post, but this response is from you.

I just wanted to tell you what a mature, loving and touching response you gave to her. Lovely..and I related to it as well.

Laurie (casey)