Saturday, December 26, 2015

Safe in Daddy's Arms . . .

There are very few photographs of me with my father.  My mother told me that he was nearly always the one behind the camera.  In fact, I've only ever seen one photo of us together - and it was when I brand new.  I found it in my mother's things after she died.

Yesterday, at my cousin's, she pulled out a photo album that she had been putting together from her late mom's photographs.  And there was this photograph of me and my Dad.  It was Christmas 1957 and we are at my grandmother's in Riverdale.  I don't know who was behind the camera - probably my mom.


That's all I posted on Facebook, but there is more to the story . . .

I looked at this photo for a very long time last night - trying very hard not to cry.  I was struck by how very happy I look here. In this photo I am about a year and a half old.  He is 32.  I have no conscious memory of him - by Christmas of the following year I would be 2 1/2, and he would be dead at the age of 33 from kidney disease.  It was a year before dialysis . . .

I think the camera caught him just at the beginning of his smile, as though someone had said "smile" and then clicked the shutter just as the corners of his mouth were curving up into the smile that likely happened a split second after the shutter was clicked.  According to my mom and other of their friends who knew him, my father absolutely adored me.  Look at me - clearly the feeling was mutual.  His giant hand holding my little one - me happy and safe and not wiggling or wanting to get down (according to my mom, "I want to get down" was a familiar theme from my childhood).

How I wish I had had this photo growing up.

How happy I am to have it now . . .

5 comments:

Darth Knitter said...

What a great photo and story. I'm so sorry that you don't have memories of your dad, but it's a great reminder of how important photographs are to connect us to the past. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

What a precious gift you have been given.

Janice H.

Michelle said...

What a precious Christmas gift! I can relate a bit; my parents divorced when I was four and I really don't have any early memories of my dad. When I see the occasional photos of me with him, it pulls strange emotional chords. Of course, I still have him, so can make memories with him now. Hugs, dear friend.

Auntea said...

I dont have any photos of my dad holding me, I understand what a treasure this is. So happy you have it now!

A :-) said...

Thank you all :-)