I fingered the rough edges of the tiny, aged 2×2 snapshot in my hands, just discovered like a hidden and secret clue in my one-time bureau drawer. I’d never seen this before, never found another family illustration from those days that so wondrously gave a glimpse into a day outside my time.
The scene entranced me somehow, a captured, frozen in time moment from a bygone era, a sliver of dad’s story that I knew nothing about. How cool, I thought, to find and hold the pictured 1940’s autos, the quaint neighborhood he knew. He was what, perhaps 16, 17, here? To see him as a lanky kid*, straddling the bumper alongside his cousin and then close bud. [*For some reason, the scanner here makes the drawing of the figures look more squat, but in person they look lanky! 🙂 ] To spy the sailor collar peeking out of his cousin’s leather jacket, ponder how Dad himself joined the Navy at 17 – perhaps only moments, days or months after this photo was taken.
“What was this doing buried here?” I wondered. Who had snapped the picture, and why? Was it a special occasion of sorts? Or just an ordinary day when his mom or perhaps aunt had grabbed the old box camera? Did the photographer have the least thought of preserving a time and place so quintessentially? I doubted it. Such a small, almost obscure snap.
Yet it gave me the feel of stepping inside one millimeter of an old Frank Capra movie. I wished I could talk again with Dad, ask him to tell me something about it. And I wanted suddenly to try my hand at freeze framing it within another medium… pen and ink and pencil! So, I took it to the nearest copy machine to enlarge, packing it to bring home…
and this week, I put my hand to it.
A story unfolded to my imagination as I studied detail and sketched… two boys returning from training, sailors in the making, close cousins and friends, Home for Christmas… [Where this was taken, Christmas may be crisply cold, but rarely – if ever- white…] So I added in two minor details not actually in the photo: A white sailor hat in Dad’s hand, because another photo from around the same time shows him proudly sporting it. A few strands of garland, a Christmas wreath on the quaint porch of the home across the way…
I found myself drawing over a lump in my throat at times. The saying goodbye is still so fresh. I think if I’d been able to show this to Dad in his last months, it might have left him too teary, sad for the loss of old times and dear ones. But if I could lean into Heaven somehow and show it to him now, I think it might make him smile and remember fondly…
For you, Dad, I say as I smudge in the last of the gray tone on the car. I know how he loved cars, and I hope I’ve been able to capture the feel of this one from the somewhat blurry sepia enlargement. It looks to me like it held some special significance to both these sailor boys…and now it holds significance to me.
That’s how it feels to Me, when you bring Me into the story I’m writing of you, He breezes across my spirit. I am the Vine, you are the branch. When you abide in Me, and My Words in Your mouth, you step more fully into who you are in Me. Your spirit listening to My Spirit, and in My Name, casting out to the abyss the decaying thoughts of the intruder…
And so, today, here are some words to hold banner high
against every lie that is telling you that you are too worn out, too old, too young, too anything or not enough of something else:
- I will not grow weary, for He gives me strength.
- Today He is increasing me in His power.
- Because I hope in Him, He renews my strength!
- He makes me to mount up on wings and soar like an eagle!
- I will run and not grow weary!
- I will walk and not faint!
[Declarations according to Isaiah 40]
I encourage you to check out the many beautiful, heartwarming or just plain fun October blog series’ participating under a slurry of topic umbrellas at write31days.com
- Pen & Ink Home Portrait shown above: mine, under my copyright (please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar. )