Family in a Photo – Looking Back

Family in a Photo – Looking Back

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.  ~George Eliot

Kyle & Mom showing off the group shots of the cousins (new 2012  –  old 1985)      12/2012

It seems like every Christmas there is one person in particular that is receiving something of real meaning and importance, the big gift of the Christmas.  This year's winners were mom and dad!  What was this victory gift?  Where did the idea come from?  How did it come together?

It started with when I was perusing boxes upon boxes of old photos, looking for a few to scan and upload to my blog.  I came across this image of a group of kids from July 1985.  The children, ranging in ages from 12 years to about 18 months happened to include Ryan, Nicole, our cousins, from mom’s side of the family and myself.  Upon closer examination I noticed that three of my cousins weren’t even born yet.  This was one of those rare pictures.  The unplanned kind, that only one person seems to have the photo, no one has the negative (yes back then there were negatives) and no one remembers taking the photo.  Later on, I asked around for another such picture that included everyone but alas no such luck.  My Aunt Irene, who is the queen of pictures and organization never saw another photo like the one I had.  By all means, this newly discovered photo didn't include ALL the cousins, but a majority of us that have grown up around each other.  My Uncle Frank's grandkids, my cousins Denise and Matthew were not present, just to name a few.  However, most of my life they lived closer to the Philadelphia area.  So we never really grew up around them like we did the Olczaks, Bobincheks and Milligans.

Something struck me about this picture, maybe because I actually remembered the day it captured.  We got together and met at Twin Lakes Park for a picnic.  Only later, did mom tell me that we were there celebrating my cousin Lisa’s birthday.  Believe it or not, I remember mom driving us up to the party spot in dad’s red truck.  My attire included a Madonna T-shirt, which I remember showing off to everyone, it's pretty prominent in the picture.  It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon.  Aunt Irene (my godmother) welcomed us as we arrived and was ready for a serious picnic adventure.

Now, I really don’t recall what we did the rest of the day, but I remember getting there and snacking, and believe it or not the picture being taken.  If my memory serves me correctly, I can hear someone yelling for all of us to look over at the camera and say “cheese.”  Who the photographer was, is still a mystery.  But as I sat perched front row, I can still feel the worry for my, then little, cousin Mikey falling backwards off of the picnic table.  Again proven in the photo.  Mikey was maybe 18 months old, being born in 1983.

Now, really getting to the point of this mystery photograph.

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