My First Family Photo


I was being passed around and around the room, from person to person.

The room was a mosh pit of friendly hands reaching out to hold me. From the oldest to the youngest, I was there for some sort of celebration. Every now and then a flash of light would blind my eyes. A very old man fussed over me. He was so happy to meet me and see me there. Someone took a photo of us together. I saw it many years later, my great-great grandfather with me in his arms. He was beaming, as if he had lived his life for this very moment.

My grandmother was clucking around the room, organizing a group of people – my mother, my father, my grandfather, my grandmother herself, and myself. We all sat on a big chair together by the arched doorway to the dining room. And around me were the four beams of unearthly bright white light. They hovered over me as if they were part of my family, as if they were expecting to be in the photograph. The flash went off. There were five generations of my family in that room that day, and my light guardians.

People in this photo besides me as a baby: Marlene Bures Kradel, Donald Arthur Kradel, Florence Keck Kradel, Harry Theodore Kradel

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