Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's In His Kiss


I love this beautiful photograph of a father and son.  The dad's arms are strong and handsome as they tenderly encircle his small child.  The picture is dated July 4, 1957, so I know it is Independence Day and I am willing to bet that's a hotdog in the boy's hands.  This loving kiss wasn't done just for the camera.  How do I know?  Because of the way it's being received. The child's nonchalant, easy-going receptiveness says, "Yeah, Dad's kissing me.  He does that alot".

I also know that this is true because I happen to know this little boy as a grown man.  And by all accounts, his father was a loving and kind figure in his life.  They spent many happy hours in salvage yards, piecing together old cars.  His father was a great provider, going to college on the GI Bill and eventually working for the Federal Government in charge of nursing home standards.  He was an active church member and took care of extended family members.  Most importantly, he modeled excellent husband behavior and treated his wife with respect and admiration.  He once told his son that everything he and his brother were, was owed to their mother's influence.  My friend's father was modest too.

But sometimes the end-of-life is very difficult and painful, and so it was for this man.  I asked my friend how he was able to reconcile the last wretched years of his father's life with his wonderful childhood memories of him.  He swiftly shot back, "His life was worth more than that"!  I believe he learned that from his father too - that a life is worth so much more than its ending - it is worth the whole damn beautiful sum total.  And how do I know this about a man I only "met" through anecdotes and stories?  You can see it in the picture.  It's in his kiss.  That's where it is...

7 comments:

  1. This post has helped me reconcile the equally horrible end of my mother's life. I'm so grateful you took the time to write this, Donna. It's been a blessing. Kiss him for me. XO

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  2. You will never know how much this post has helped me this morning, a morning I awoke once again to the haunting images of my husband's last days. Those of us who are bedside always feel a unique sense of guilt that we didn't or couldn't do more. All he wanted was to go home. Was that really asking too much? I don't think so. This post will help me remember the other years, years that made me love him so.

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  3. Oh Gail! I am weeping... I am so happy you gained clarity and hope!

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  4. It is a very touching photo and so sweet. I like very much.

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  5. It is a very touching photo and so sweet. I like very much.

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