Today, I'm telling you a story. You have no choice so you might as well put your feet up and grab a licorice whip.
A week or two ago, Bryon was at the store with the boys and I had Mabel at his house, just the two of us. We vacuumed, did the dishes, made some meatloaf (Bryon's favorite) and hung out. I snapped away with my phone and captured two photos of her. The first one I will use as torture when she has her first real boyfriend and the other... well, the other made me cry.
It made me cry because in her face, I saw my father. I haven't seen his face in about 14 years. And I have never, never seen that face on a child. Unfortunately the only pictures I've ever seen of him begin about the time he entered the Army Air Corps before 1950. Never a childhood picture. Never a baby picture.
Until Mabel's face stared back at me.
And I will tell you that as soon as I sent that picture to Bryon he said to me, "she looks exactly like your dad!" So observant with pictures, my guy.
My father was handsome, no? Here he is with Judy in the summer of 1976, with my granny Bertha. Stare at his smile for a moment and please do include his eyes because, he smiled with them oh so much.
On the steps of Grandma Bertha's house in Southern Ohio.
On Lake Erie. I'm putting this one on the wall somewhere.
Sorry, this one is totally just me. I see a little Mabel there, too. Just a little.
Oh yes, back to Dad. This was his beard phase but I can still see that smile under there. Smallish, but eager at the same time. Tender.
Again with the smiling eyes. I remember this - first day of 6th grade (and look how big my foot is!).
Dad and Zeke.
This was in August of 1993, I think. Even still, that smile. He was older - gosh, he would have been 64 here - but that smile still looks just as tender as ever.
I wish I could tell you that my father and I didn't have differences, but we did. We didn't talk for a few years in fact. I'm so glad that we found each other again before he died and I miss him so, so much.
Especially now that I have 3 little people.
One of whom looks exactly like his granddaughter should look. Little impish grin, the strong chin, and of course those eyes.
Apparently Dad wanted to say hi from Heaven when I captured this photo. I'm so glad to see his face again.