My Parents Are Figments of the Past

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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I never really knew my parents. I lived in their home for almost 18 years, but I knew them as parents and care-givers, not really as people. We shared some genes and a few core values, but the rest was a mystery. By the time I was born, they were already married for nine years. By the time I was conscious of our relationship another four or five years had passed and they were continuing on with their lives. Its so hard to believe they were once younger than me. Likewise, I am amazed that I am much older now than they were in the pictures below.

We lived within a few miles of each other in Manhattan, but we were neither close nor distant. We just were. They both died a few years ago in their 90s (my mom would have been 100 this year) and afterward I found these photos of their life before my arrival. They are pictures of strangers. I recognize them through a few physical resemblances, but these images are not who I knew throughout my childhood or adulthood. I’m glad the photos exist but existentially speaking they are not of anyone I know. Such is life, I guess, yet a weird feeling.

Clockwise from left: My dad and uncle c.1922. My grandmother and dad, c. 1927. My dad c. 1929.

My mom and dad c. 1943. Dad was in the Army-Air Force stationed in Georgia. My mom worked nearby his base.

My mom and dad in 1944. Bottom right: My parents c.1947 on one of dozens of cruises. I was born in 1950.