Week 2 prompt for #52ancestors is a favorite photo. I thought long and hard about what I thought my favorite family photo was. This was a true inner struggle. I first considered photos of my grandparents (either side), (below is Vera and Cecil Dyess together, Vera Dyess ) (I couldn’t locate photos of my maternal grandparents to share in time of this post)
Then considered a photo of my and my mother. (Betty Jean and I)
I thought, “what about a pic of me?” (this was when I was about 3, if I remember correctly)
“Or a pic of me with my first born?” (Me holding Amanda, she was less than two)
Then I realized the one photo I treasured above all was one I first saw as an adult. A photo of my father playing with me on the floor. I was just a baby but to be able to see this one photo made me cry.
What many people don’t know is that this is the ONLY photo I have of Richard and I. My father and I have few memories together, so few I can count them on one had and have fingers left over.
I didn’t know my father when he was living. I learned of him after his death. I learned of him through family. When he passed away at the age of 43, I was 22. Twenty-two and seeing him for the first time since I was around 7 or 8, and even then only briefly, and he laid in a casket. That experience (of loosing him without knowing him) devastated me. It also taught me two things (1) time is precious and (2) never not attempt to spend time with family and get to know them.
Although, I had only been an adult for 4 years I had not made the attempt to meet him. I blame myself for this but I also understand that I wasn’t taught to search out family either. He had been so absent from my life I didn’t realize the void that had been created, that buckled and crushed with his death.
So when I saw this photo I cried. I cried because it was proof he loved me. It was proof he was there at some point. It was also proof that I had to make sure family was priority. From that day forward I kept a promise that I made to myself, “never keep family away from family unless it is truly unavoidable or for the better of the family as a whole.” I believe I have kept that promise and I have worked hard to continue to impress that upon my all my children and all my family!