stories about my father

Evidentiary Joy

I ran across this photo the other day and as I looked at it, it brought back a special memory for me. We had several relatives at our home. Many were visiting Long Island just for the weekend. It's not too often that we're all together in one place. As usual, there was plenty of laughter that evening.

Because we had so many relatives present, I decided to gather everyone together and take a family photo. As we tried sorting everyone in place in order to fit them into the picture, our dog, Kole, was trying to jump up on the couch behind my grandfather and Aunt Rosemary. From what we gathered, he wanted to be a part of the group and, therefore, wasn't content just sitting on the floor. As a result, we couldn't get a photo we liked because Kole was squirming in between my relatives.

Let the problems in your life be your teachers... Remember life is a labor pain but the pains are not inflicted by someone else. You decide what you go through to give birth to yourself. - Bernie S. Siegal, M.D.

Although I took many shots that evening, little did I realize I had my favorite photo. It captured something I didn't fully see until now. Here, my dad and his sister along with their father were laughing so hard that the rest of us couldn't help but laugh with them. In fact, if you look at all three of them, it was evident their joy was genuine and very contagious. These days, when I look at that image, a smile naturally falls on my face.

So many stories are shared at family gatherings at how these three brought so much spontaneous joy into our lives. This image has special meaning for me because it captures what my words fail to adequately express. Thankfully, when I get the opportunity to share one day with my wife and children about their grandfather, great aunt, and great grandfather, I have this image to show them how real their joy truly was. And hopefully they will see where a good part of my joy comes from.