Ghosts

Gremlins
Last night I was looking through a bag in my closet that I hadn’t emptied since I moved. I found the first drawing my friend drew in a Christmas card. I remember showing it to my Dad and he couldn’t believe the detail. It was slightly cheeky too because she drew me with a campaign button on (we were polar opposites when it came to political parties). I found some loose photos taken at my grandparents. There is one that is so Janet she’s leaning over with her arms spread wide with the goofiest grin on her face. I didn’t turn it over to see the age but think we must have been about 11.
There were formal church photos too. I think it was 1995. We couldn’t get my brother to agree to go. The one of the 3 of us is not one I like. It looks so unnatural and Mom isn’t even recognizable. The one of the 2 of us is “ok” but the thing about formal photos like these is it rarely captures the essence of the person. I guess that’s why the last portrait we had taken as a family in 2008 is so special because 1 Dad is in it and 2 although we are all dressed up there is something about it that looks natural.
We don’t have many photos after 1993 which is the year we graduated high school. I had one when I graduated college. There were 2 sisters that were in our class who got their picture taken together. At the time I wanted my own photo but now I wonder why we didn’t do it. 20 yrs ago film was expensive so I only used it for vacations and special occasions like a wedding. I wish we had more. I remember going to my cousin’s wedding in 2000 and my parents were sitting at another table. I had wanted to get a family picture since my brother was moving to the States for work but it didn’t happen.
Looking at photos transports me back to the time when the photo was taken. I have friends that don’t believe I used to have natural curl in my hair because it’s so straight now. We went to West Virginia in August and well it’s humid!! In one picture my hair was quite full. I will have to scan it so that I have proof! Our hair would develop red highlights in the summer too which came from Mom. The funny thing about photos is it captures that one moment when everyone is smiling and not the other 75% of the time when I couldn’t wait to get away from them! There were 5 adults that went on that trip and it was like having 5 parents and we were stuck in a van together for many hours. This proves there is too much togetherness!!!
There are days when I can look at photos and smile and other times it makes me miss them so much it hurts. I treasure all of them…even the ones with Grandpa’s thumb, or Grandma caught me sneezing (that one’s the best!).

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