My kids all came home with their school pictures yesterday. Up until about three years ago, I never let this opportunity slip away – I always bought the “best package”. It always seemed crazy to not buy the damn pictures. I mean, you can give these away to grandparents, aunts, uncles, everyone. But, as can always happen, life took an unexpected turn.
My father was diagnosed with lung cancer a little less than three years ago. When the picture proofs came home, I must have been busy, because I don’t seem to have any from that year. Things looked promising though, that next school year. I had been waiting for them to come home so I could buy them. But, as luck would have it, my dad became worse– the school pictures were overlooked yet again.
My father passed away right before Thanksgiving – almost two years now. I waited yet again for that time of the year when the school pictures would come home. Once again, life happened. It was a crazy time. My father had passed away, two weeks later my sister’s husband passed away from colon cancer, and two weeks after that, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. My mother moved in with me and my family so we could care for her. I don’t even remember dressing the kids up for school pictures during that time. My mother passed away in March of this year.
At some point, when my kids are older and looking through all the photos of all those terrible school pictures, I will have to remind them of why a couple of grades are missing. I wonder what that conversation will sound like – will I still be sad? Yesterday, school pictures came home. And, despite the fact that I’m not sure who to give them to, I have already sent in the money to buy the “best package”.