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The Old Photograph I cannot count how many times in my life I have been asked the question: If your house was on fire what belongings would you try to save? Photographs were never one of the answers I would have given until now. All that changed with finding an old photograph of my grandmother and her daughter Dolly. Still vivid in my mind is the day my younger sister Dolores came running into the kitchen. “Look what I found in the basement,” she said. “Do you know who it is?” she asked She had discovered the old photo while cleaning up bits of our mother’s belongings that were being moved to Florida. I knew who it was immediately even though I can’t remember ever having seen the photograph before. “I think it’s Grandma and Dolly,” I answered. With a call to my mother Dolores found out, indeed it was. Not really believing what was before my eyes, I stood there gazing at the photo that must have been about eighty years old. I was caught in rapture of loving memories of my grandmother and the stories she told me of her daughter Dolly, who she had lost at the tender age of fourteen. Why had the old photo emerged now? Could it be because I had just written a play called “A Golden Bell and a Pomegranate” about a grandmother telling the story of Christmas to her grandchildren, and one of the characters was named Dolly? Many of the memories of grandma and Dolly were the seeds of the story that became the play. The first story I ever told was to my grandmother at the age of five. I lived with her for the first five years of my life. In all the years of telling stories, the play was the first one I wrote down. In my heart I knew it was Grandma and Dolly giving their approval of my accomplishment by the resurrection of the old photo. In this time of Lent when we are called upon to reflect on the love, teachings, and passion of our Lord, I feel compelled this Easter to reflect on resurrection. Our Lord died so that we may have eternal life and experience the life we have now, full and rich in each moment; resurrection by love, death, memories, new beginnings, and new roads to travel. That is why in my heart and soul I know I could never leave the old photograph, or the cross I wear around my neck. Ref: St. Jeromes Translator – Holy Week – 1996

 

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