I've spent several hours over the last few weeks thumbing through all my photo albums and putting things in order, etc. (perhaps you were on Twitter the other night during Prom-picture-palooza . . .) and I realized a few things:
- I don't look "good" in a single photo of me ever taken. Ever. EVER.
- I have a very attractive family that seems to genuinely love its fellow members.
- I have dressed exactly the same way I do now since I was kicked out of my mother's warm, loving, comfortable womb (complete with cooler of hummus and Diet Dr. Pepper if my neo-natal memories are correct (presume they are))
- I need to ask more questions in this world
The first three bullets are digression at its most cliche. The last is the point . . . I love this picture. It is of my maternal Grandparents (John and Anna Coyle, for those keeping track at home). The date on the back (in my Grandmother's perfect, beautiful cursive that I'd recognize truly anywhere) says "June 9, 1979." That is ALL I know about this picture. Who is in it and a date on the back (presumably the date it was taken). I don't know where they are. I don't know what they are doing or where they are going or if my Grandfather even winked at himself in the mirror over a DIMPLE-FREE FULL WINDSOR KNOT (playa-gun-play).
This is the only picture I have of JUST my Grandparents. I don't know why I love it. I presume it is because that by the time this photo was taken my Grandparents had both grown up in the depression, each in large families. They had buried all four of their parents. They had raised three children of their own, worked a farm and other jobs (hard, blue collar stuff, at that), had seen 10 of their 11 grandchildren be born (my younger brother capped the generation about 15 months later). In these benchmarks they had no doubt seen enough good and bad times in their life spans to make my life seem simple and plain.
Yet - there they are - standing somewhat casually on a patch of grass, dressed for something special (he was a farmer, he didn't wear jacket and tie for fun), with their body language showing they were still very much in love, that my grandmother would rather face in to her husband than the camera, and that my deceased grandfather could tie a dimple-free full Windsor knot and make it look easy.
Suffices to say my Grandchildren will probably eventually discover a photo of me in some digital photo album in the cloud or inside their brain (the technology is moving fast as photos go), with or without their grandmother. I can only hope they'll think I'd lived a good, full, honest life and that they should eventually have that much under their belt (as I sit here now feeling inadequate and my own Grandparents probably did with their own Grandparents (who lived and died in the "Old Country"). I guess that is the circle of life, in a way. Just like another one of my favorite things in this world . . . the dimple-free full Windsor knot.