“Little Snippets of My Childhood”
Sometimes the deepest desires of our hearts are answered years later in unexpected, triumphant ways.
Much like a wide-eyed child overwhelmed by a bigger-than-life chocolate sundae, I remember staring in awe at each black and white photo tucked away in the unlabeled box. Holding the pictures close for a moment was just one more memory that wasn’t mine to keep. I never knew what happened to my displaced childhood memories. After being given up at birth and then to have my adoptive father suddenly become absent – a casualty of divorce – only added to my feelings of abandonment. I did not understand why photos from my first six years of life had been taken away from me. When my daddy left, I believe all the pictures of us as a family were destroyed.
There have been times in my life when I needed to recapture those lost pictures. I’ve longed to know how much my daughters resembled me as a child, from that first glimpse of a brand-new life to our five-year-old toothless grin. For me, the harmless pictures were proof that my adoptive father once loved his little girl.
After putting mother in an assisted care facility, my brother had the task of sorting through the wealthy abundance of material possessions from her second marriage. “Oh my,” I squealed as if my brother and I had been playing pirates and he had just discovered part of our lost riches. Placed in my lap were “little snippets of my childhood.” The only thing the gift seemed to be missing was a bow and wrapping paper. Slowly I opened the small cardboard box wondering what long-ago treasures might be inside. I was completely overwhelmed by this kaleidoscope of pictures that abruptly started from the age of seven and then continued sporadically up until I was pregnant with my first child.
My daughters will take me more seriously the next time I tell them that I was in a water ballet class. I can’t stop laughing when I see myself as a young girl sitting on the side of a pool all decked out in my swimming cap decorated with artificial flowers, or when I am practicing casting out over the side of the hill with my new Zebco fishing pole.
I would trade all the money in this world to get back the rest of the photographs that I presume were discarded. It’s the little things in life that are so often taken for granted that have always meant so much to me. I want to hold on to the good memories with the pure and innocent heart of a child. Reclaiming some of the lost keepsakes has given me a chance to reminisce about the happy times and the love, despite the losses.