06 September, 2012

{this memory} 61

This is the story behind last Monday's {this moment}.

Are lingering and unanswered questions also memories? Unmemories? This image may be from Crossville, Illinois, or from Naylor, Missouri. Not sure, but I do know it is from 1912, exactly 100 years ago.

The soldier is my paternal grandfather, and the child is my father. He was three in this image.

I know little about my grandfather. What I do know I posted in {this memory} 7, and I've posted several times about my father. For example, see Father's Day.

The mystery is the occasion of this photo. It is the earliest I have seen of my father. His father had abandoned him (and his mother) when he was an infant, a couple of years before this photo. Why was my grandfather back from Arizona? How often did he come? My father never mentioned him.

In fact, I'm not aware he had any presence at all in my father's life. I want to know just as surely as I want to smack him for treating my father that way. I did visit his grave once, and I didn't know what to feel.

Of my father, there is no conflict. I have nothing but the warmest memories.

In spite of the things I don't know, I still have so many wonderful memories. I am a fortunate man.