I look at this photograph, at the smiling faces of my dad and my uncles and wish I could go back in time, not at the age I would have been then, but at the age I am now and say “Talk to me. Tell me about what your life has been like up to this point. Tell me what it was like growing up in Arkansas. Tell me what your hopes and dreams for the future are.” But, of course, I can’t go back. I can only look at this picture and wish the men in it had had the privilege of a long and healthy life, but none of them did. My dad, in the center, died when he was only 45 and my Uncle Leroy on his right wasn’t much older. My Uncle Johnie lived to be in his early 50s. All of them were gone before I cared about such things. Now, when I’m heading towards my golden years, all these things I want to know, and never will.
image Ghosts of Christmas Past
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