This week, one of the foxes challenged us to find and expound on a family photo that says a lot about the subjects. After searching my shelves of scrapbook albums for a half hour, and scrolling through my digital photo file for another hour, I came up with the picture above.
This photo was taken at Arlington National Cemetery in the spring of 2005. My Uncle Jim was buried there, and all of us flew down for the ceremony. Since it was so unusual for all six cousins to be in the same place at the same time, someone suggested that we take a picture, and they happily obliged. My daughters are the first and third from the left. This is one of my mother’s favorite pictures of all her grandchildren, so I had several prints made. I even had one put on a tote bag for her.
I’ve noted in previous posts that my brothers and I grew up without knowing most of our extended family. While we were growing up, all our aunts, uncles, and cousins lived in Japan, and only two (the ones on my dad’s side) spoke English. There was no communication between our Japanese-speaking cousins and us until Facebook came along. Social media, along with online translators, have made it much easier to connect.
Fortunately for my daughters, they are much more able to communicate with their cousins. Between my brothers and me, six girls were born within the space of five years. They’ve been able to meet and share experiences, even though they’ve lived in different cities. For a few years, three of the cousins lived in Luxembourg.
There are some interesting things to note about this picture. First of all, they are arranged in birth order, from left to right. No one told them to line up that way, but to them it seemed natural. They did the same thing in a Christmas picture a few years before this, and again a few years later at my daughter’s wedding. I’m not sure how they came up with this idea – but then, all six are very intelligent, logical, detail-oriented people. Second, they all lean toward each other, as a cohesive group. They truly care about each other. I think that caring tendency is reflected in the careers they eventually chose for themselves. From left to right, they are school psychologist, pharmacist, human resource coordinator, registered nurse, musician, and teacher. Third, I’m struck by the fact that their smiles all appear genuine. These girls enjoy being with each other, even when they’ve been apart for extended periods of time.
I hope and pray the closeness lasts all their lives.