I took this picture on Saturday, and find myself looking at it, smiling, looking some more, and wondering a little bit why I need to keep looking at it.
And why I keep smiling. And wondering.
And I arrive at a few different places, or perhaps one place via a few different routes. When I look at this picture, I look at something that didn't exist in my world growing up. My father died early in my life; I never knew, really, either of my grand dads; one died when my father was 5, and the other passed early in my second year. I vaguely remember his voice, but ultimately am not sure if it's his voice or my elder sister's recollection of it that I remember.
Fr. M arrived well into my adult life, materializing at age 35--and I remember at the time wondering at his arrival. He attended the same high school as my father, and our cultural similarities allow us a shorthand that allows us to fit in hours-long conversations in the space of minutes.
But looking at this pic gives me another view. My younger son with this man who could easily be his grandfather, enjoying his company, sharing his book, reminds me that even though life deals us some strange cards, that we get the people we need to help us through the rough times. I smile, thinking of the 'brothers' I now have who are not bound to me by blood but by love, how fortunate I am for my sisters who are likewise kin.
We cannot choose family? Not true. Those people I am closest to share my heart, not my blood.
Although my two young ones are the exception. Not the rule.