Thursday, May 14, 2009

The cycles of life...

Earlier today I was scanning some pictures of my children, my wife, and I as babies.  Aparently my wife is putting together some sort of collage of all of us.  The only picture we had of me as a baby was firmly pasted into a baby book that my mom put together for me when I was, well, a baby.  Since the book is as old as I am and carries the only copy of my birth certificate, it is seriously beat up.  After scanning the picture my wife wanted, I proceeded to scan all of the pictures of in the book so that I wouldn't lose them.  (OK - not all of them, one of them involved nudity so I left that one to rot in the book)

I had a blast scanning these pictures and then reviewing the memories associated with them.  What stood out in my mind as I looked at these pictures was how many cycles of life are represented in these pictures and the people in them.  Several of the people in the pictures are no longer with us and I have moved up the "generational ladder" as a result.  I thought it would be interesting to post of few of these pictures, showing how the cycles of life keep rolling around. 

The first picture here is of my parents family right before we moved to Mexico in 1980.  This is only half of us, four more siblings would show up over the years in Mexico, but it is a good representation of my parents when they were just a little younger than I am now.  (In the picture of my family I am only two years older than my Dad would have been in the first picture.)  In case you are wondering, yes - I am the good looking boy in the picture.
I have to say that Dad looks pretty distinguished in his checkered vest.  And, not to be outdone, Mom looks great with her 'fro.

 As I was scanning these pictures and reviewing them one really touched me.  It is a picture of me and my Grandpa and Grandma Whetten who were visiting me on my first birthday in California.  Fortunately I am old enough to have a lot of memories with my Grandpa and Grandma Whetten, but in all my memories I am an older child that is too big to be held.  In this particular picture my Grandpa Whetten is holding me.  Although I don't remember it, I like the thought of Grandpa Whetten holding me in his arms when I was little. 

Seeing this picture reminded me of a picture I have of my son spending time in his Grandpa Whetten's arms.  I hope when he is as old as I am that this picture brings him the same warm feelings of love for his Grandpa Whetten as the one above does for me.  And I look forward to holding each of my grandchildren and continuing the cycle.  (When that time comes, of course.  I am not in a big hurry for that just yet!)

This picture was taken of me with my Grandpa and Grandma DeWitt on my blessing day in California.  I was nine days old in this picture.  The painting you see behind my Grandpa hung in our home until we moved to Mexico.  I remember thinking of all kinds of adventures that I could have in the woods and the river depicted in that painting.  I wonder what happened to it?

Although he isn't a baby in this picture, here is a picture of my son being held by my Grandpa DeWitt.  It is cool that my son has been held by my Grandpa just like I used to be.

Last but not least, this picture is of me with my Great-Grandpa and Grandma Lamoreaux in front of our home in South Gate, California.  Because I am one of the older members of my generation (and because the Lamoreaux's have a thing for longevity) I knew my great grandparents.  I have always felt blessed by this association with Grandpa and Grandma Lamoreaux.  Being first definitely has its privileges when it comes to memories of people.  Grandpa Lamoreaux was a World War I navy vet.  Grandma Lamoreaux was a little girl during what is known as "The Exodus" from the Mormon Colonies in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution.  

My daughters are fortunate enough to know their Great Grandpa and Grandma DeWitt.  They will carry their own memories of these great people with them and will be able to tell their children about their great-great grandparents.  Grandma DeWitt passed away just a few days before my boy was born, so he didn't get to know her here.  He does know and love his Great Grandpa DeWitt however, and I am grateful for this gift.

I am grateful for the memories I have of my family, and I look forward to the cycles of life that still lie ahead of us all.


Melinda said...

I love your moms fro int he first pic...2 Funny. They were stylin for their day. What cool pictures Paul. You are part of 2 great families Dewitts and Whettens. Thanks for sharing.

Salsa Mama said...

OK, are you happy now? I'm crying because that was such a great post. Really, I love it ALL. We are so blessed with good family. I'm so blessed to be your wife and have inherited your family to call mine.