12.20.2021 – memories so thick

memories so thick
like presents to be unwrapped
what gets remembered
?

One of my brothers sent out this old photograph the other day.

The photograph had been around our house when I was a kid growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan as long as I can remember.

And since I am about 1 and a half years old in this photograph, that was longer ago than I can remember.

The story was that some neighbor lady worked for the Grand Rapids Press and thought that a family picture would be a nice addition to the paper at Christmas time.

The caption in the paper read, “GLAD TIDINGS – The nine children of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Hoffman, Sligh Blvd. gather round …”

One of the oddities of this photo is that there were two more kids yet to come.

My Mom always said she thought 8 was a good number.

Being 8th, I really appreciated that.

I am sitting next to my Mom and how they kept me from sticking out my tongue I don’t know.

My sister Janet remembered that my Mom had to go out and buy Christmas Stockings for the photo shoot and didn’t get enough so my brother Paul had to use a gym sock.

But my sister Lisa responded, “Does anyone actually remember this? I must have been three years old at the time and have no memory of it.”

Of course you have to be old enough to have memories.

And Christmas memories are so thick that they have to be brushed away leaves in a fall windstorm.

But what makes a memory?

Here is a photograph from this Christmas.

Me and my grand daughters, Azaria, Ella and Lenox.

Lenox is a little older than I was in that black and white photograph.

I don’t remember that day.

Bothers me a little that Lenox might not remember this day though I understand.

Guess we keep the pictures around as clues or keys to the boxes where the memories are stored.

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