Family Portrait

My parents both died in 1989. As I approach the anniversary of their deaths, I am re-posting this blog post about my family.

Family 001

This is a portrait of my family, my entire family–all three of us. It is my favorite photograph.

My mother hated having her photograph taken. I inherited that from her. So, we don’t have many pictures of the three of us together.

My mother took this photo. If you are going to take only a handful of photographs in your lifetime, I hope you have one as good as this.

There is a lot of irony in this photograph.

My father was very handsome and I never saw a bad photo of him. Yet in this photo, you don’t see his face. You only see his arms, which I loved.

My mother, a lovely woman who ran from the camera, is in this photo, too. That is her shadow and, I have to say, Mom, your composition is perfect, but then you were the seamstress and quilter and could decorate the house like a pro. You always had the she artist’s eye.

She took this photo in the living room of the house where they lived for four decades. the light coming through the picture window (extra charge for that window when the house was being built).

I still have that chair. It will be reupholstered soon and reunited with your bedroom furniture, which I have kept.

I still have the watch my father was wearing in that photograph. I took it to New York last year to be restored; it spent a few months in Switzerland, back at the factory where it was made. (Who knew?)

I have cherished this photograph for decades, but it is especially poignant this week because my father, my strong, handsome father now long gone, would be 100 years old on July 11th.

My father, a centenarian. Fancy that.

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