55 minutes ago
This is a strong photo, taken by my brother, David, in 1973 or 74. The first fundamental dividing line in my life is my mother's death when I was 20 (the second is when I became a mother). And because this is so close to that line, this photo, like many others, portends a lot of sadness.
We got our sweet dog, Sophie, when I was in high school, a couple of years before this picture. Our beagle, Sneakers, barely tolerated her, but she was easily absorbed into our family of seven. Then, one by one, we all grew up and left.
The attrition of kids growing up and leaving home was natural, but my mother's death ultimately led to my grandmother (her mother) also moving away, leaving Sophie alone in the house with my father. As he began his new life, he, too, was gone a lot.
In those days, our dogs had a lot of freedom to wander, so I like to think that Sophie had a life larger than our family. But one day, when she was 14, she wandered away and never came back.
This memory has long been tucked in a corner of my mind; it has always pained me to think about it and it hurts now to write about it. But such is the power of these pictures.
Each of our stories matter. I can't help but tell mine and I would love to help you tell yours.
I work with people to help them capture the stories of their lives in writing—and the stories of their parents' lives, their children, their work, their adventures. My gentle inquiry helps you get beyond the facts and into memories that are sometimes hidden away but that hold the truth you want to share.
I'm also working on a tip sheet with the questions that will help you write the stories behind your own family photographs. Stay tuned to learn more about that and how you can get one!
What’s your story?
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