Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Framed memories

 I have many pictures hung upon my walls. There are predominately pictures of my ancestors interspaced with my descendants. Mostly located in the corner above my computer desk they surround me daily. There are days when I barely notice them and other times they speak to me. Some of the folks in those pictures I never knew, having passed long before my time. Their faces stare at me with questions. There are times when I answer. The majority of those photographs are captured memories. Those memories are framed, I give them meaning. Each one is a journey back in time. The closest we have to time travel. It is an emotional smorgasbord. Everything from the melancholy of a lost brother to the pride of a grandfather. Fond memories of days gone by and reminders, so many reminders.
 I began to write about this this morning because one picture in particular spoke to me. This picture has a haunting quality to it. I don't know if it is just the play of shadow and shade or the memories it invokes. I would guess it is a combination of both. To someone else I'm certain this shot would be considered of poor quality. It was taken with a cell phone camera. The details are a little blurry and the lighting poor. The memories however are sharp and clear. Funny thing is, I wasn't there when it was taken. Just why does that picture seems a little haunted ? I'm thinking because it holds so much loneliness. You see it was taken of my sister in law sitting on the steps on her Uncle Georges' place. He lived and died in that row house on Webster Street. The story is a long one , so here is the synopsis. He purchased this home right after WW2 and lived there with his parents. Yes, he served in the war despite what we would consider today having a disability. I'm not certain what the malady was called but it affected his bones. One leg was severly bowed but it never seem to impede him. He never married and took care of his Mom. For at least twenty years he was legally blind, almost crippled and still lived alone in that house. It must have been an extremely lonely existence. He never let on if it was though. He was the personification of perseverance. In the end, he fell down the stairs in that home and that is where he was found.
 When that picture was taken Uncle George had already been laid to rest. He is lonely no more. I see the door closed and know that he isn't home. That home has been sold now and everything of Uncle Georges divided up and disposed off. Joan, my sister in law, sits on those steps in that picture. It was she and her husband that took care of Uncle George for years. She took him to the doctors and to the store. The last ten years or so she went shopping for him, fulfilling his orders. She was his lifeline. Now I see her on those steps knowing her job is done. I think perhaps that is what the haunting is, a memory of loneliness. Does that make any sense ? That is what I see in that picture, loneliness. I don't believe Uncle George ever despaired in that loneliness or felt regret. He was just waiting. Funny the things a picture will make you think of. Framed memories have no limits. Ironic, isn't it ?