When looking back into one’s past, it is amazing the importance wedding albums come to play as they have collections of professional quality pictures where all present were showing off their finest. My parents album is no different and I have found myself thumbing through it more frequently of late, looking at those images for the god know how many time for that one detail I misses. To see all those people, not only my parents and grandparents but the aunts and uncles I would come to know so well in the years to come when they were so young. Looking at faces to see who really had their parent’s eyes, which side of the family so and so inherited their chin from and so on. However more than that I see those young faces, younger than I am now, and wonder what great dreams filled their minds. No picture has made me think of this more than the only single picture I have seen of the six people to whom I directly owe my life itself, my parents and grandparents. My Parents did not have me until their late 30’s which while not at all unusual today it was uncommon in the day. As a result the singular image I have in my mind that one composite memory constructed image we build in our early teens is of parents then in their 50’s. Three of my grandparents died before I reached my 9th birthday and memories of those are flickering images and influenced greatly by pictures. Only my Grandmother on my mother’s side did I have the chance to come to know as I reached adulthood and I will forever be grateful to say she became more than a Grandmother, she became a friend in the truest sense of the word.
Of those 6 people I wonder what they were thinking that wedding day. How amazing it would be to go back in time and be a fly on the wall. As I find myself in mid-life and questioning my own decisions while trying to map out the years to come, I wonder what they would have truly thought of their son and grandson. Not the “oh they would have been so proud” platitudes but really thought as people. It is hard as a child to evolve from seeing your parents as those god like figures of childhood to real people with complex personalities, the good and the bad. I can only imagine that it is harder for parents in many ways as they are always able to see their child. I regret I really did not get to that point with either of my parents, age, personality and ultimately distance kept that from happening. People talk of those who have passed on looking down from above and while I like the thought, I wish I had true faith. For four of the six I am their sole descendant, and it would appear their last and I only hope the unwritten chapters of my life can construct and ending that they would find pleasing.