Writing 101 – Write about finding something.


My parents divorced when I was eight years old after years of drinking, fighting and gnashing of teeth. I cannot conjure a memory of them being happy together during my entire childhood. Smiles and laughter rarely found their way into the fabric of our days.

Daddy has been gone now for over 25 years, mama is remarried again and the past seems like a bad dream – a tragic play with unskilled actors flailing through their poorly-written scripts.

Last fall, while visiting our aunt, two of my sisters and I set up camp on her living room floor and rifled through box after box of old family photographs. We looked at vacation photos taken at Six Flags, faded, creased pictures of unidentified relatives, and shots of tombstones of those long gone.  There were the obligatory “say cheese” group snapshots at holiday gatherings and K-12 school photos of almost everyone.

And then, as I grabbed yet another pile to sift through, a gift fell into my lap. A wallet-sized, black and white picture of my parents that I had never seen before. Nestled dangerously close to each other, they are sitting on one end of a couch, daddy’s arm around mama, a huge smile on her face and the perfect look of peace and contentment in his eyes. They are so young, so beautiful, and so obviously in love.

In that photograph that now sits framed on my nightstand, I can see their love – see back to a time when it made sense for them to be together. In that photograph, I found home.

10 thoughts on “Home

  1. Another beautiful piece of writing! My dad died when I was little; I don’t remember he and my mom fighting at all but it’s so hard for me to have a sense of who we were as a family before everything changed. About ten years ago my mom discovered a whole packet of letters my dad had written her in 1964, the year I was born. My dad was in the Air Force and was in Selma, Alabama of all places. I sobbed when I read the letters; they were full of love and hope and missing his family. They were also full of outrage at the way black people were being treated in the Deep South, as opposed to DC. Not that everything was rosy here, but compared to Selma…it was culture shock for my dad. Those letters mean everything in the world to me; they put my childhood in context. Sorry to ramble–your story reminded me of the letters in the sense that I was able to see my parents as they were at a moment in time.


    1. Thank you so much Jill.

      What a treasure those letters must be! I’m so glad you have them in your life. It was a crazy time in our country’s history. Things still aren’t perfect…

      Hey, while I have you here – I’ve been unable to reply to your comments on your blog. After I comment once, and you reply, I can’t comment back 😦 I’ve tried several times and have wanted to keep certain conversations going, but can’t. I wonder if there is a setting somewhere that needs to be changed?


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