Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Family Pictures

      I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt to record memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.

Alex Haley

I love looking at family pictures, reading expressions and speculating about what people are thinking. Below is a favorite family picture. Made in about 1948, this family, my family, are survivors of World War II. My brothers have witnessed brutality and deprivation. They look serious. My father, the optimist, looks relieved and confident in a better tomorrow. My mother is posing and looking as she should. I am missing. I would not make an entry into mortality until six years later. By then the boys would all be teenagers and the decision to emigrate is made. 

 These two parents created a large family with four children, fifteen grandchildren, thirty great-grandchildren, and eleven great-great grandchildren. We come together once a year at my brother's home in Utah. There are always people missing due to travel constraints and  scheduling. Before the evening gets away from us someone shouts "family pictures". Reluctantly the children leave the games and the pool. The older members, yikes, that's me, make their way over to the semi-circle. We all give our phones to the lucky photographer and she painstakingly, takes two pictures on five or six phones. 

   The pictures get posted on Facebook and everyone feels grateful. We did it one more year. This year I set up a family history game. I posted their names on a large wall. My cousin walked into the room and asked why only dead people were on the wall. I announced we were giving a prize for the person who could match loved hobbies and talents with the emeritus members. People forgot that Cousin Werner raised chinchillas, Tante Hanni made hats, and Cousin Norbert was a car fanatic. I felt happy that they were part of the celebration. They started us all and without them we would not exist. I believe they are still invested in the happiness and well-being of those on earth. I feel it deeply. I am convinced.


  1. It's lovely that so many of your family can get together and I like your idea of remembering family members from the past and including them in your celebration too.

  2. I love that you get together annually and believe wholeheartedly that our family members who've gone on before us are still mindful of us.


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