Last fall, Mama gave Brad a couple of rolls of film to develop. One roll was about five or six years old, the other roll about two years old. She said that Andrew had bugged her over and over to get the pictures developed because apparently, there were pictures of him dressed up in his tux, going to his senior banquet. She wasn't sure what she would find.
So Brad brought them home one day, and I got a chance to see them. Sure enough, on the five year old roll there were a lot of pictures of Andrew- mostly around the time of his graduation from highschool - no cap and gown pictures, but a lot of the graduation party, and several of Andrew posing in his tux. We all felt a little sad because he had wanted to see these pictures and never did. It was odd because it wasn't the most recent Andrew we knew- he was a little younger in these pictures as they were taken in 2001. But it was interesting because there aren't a lot of new pictures of him anymore.
So I was flipping through the pictures and suddenly came upon a very bizarre photograph. It showed the following individuals sitting on or next to the living room couch: Daddy, me, Liane, Keith, Andrew, and Mama. But the weird thing was, we were all wearing ugly, old-people glasses, with strange, goofy looks on our faces. I had no memory of this event. But I was in the picture! What was going on? Why were we posing like that? It was the strangest feeling - seeing myself in the picture and not remembering it being taken. And then, as I talked to Brad about it, I remembered. My parents had recently cleaned out Grandpa and Grandma S's house, full of a lifetime of accumulated belongings. They found a box full of my grandparent's glasses, which they had stockpiled over the years. So we decided to each put on a pair of their glasses and be silly and take a picture. Looking at these pictures hit my funny bone in just the right way and I laughed and laughed over this forgotten moment.
There were two pictures of the same event- one in which most of us are sort of making idiotic, toothy faces and another one in which we have these dumb grins on. But Andrew had the same spaced out, moron face on in both pictures. Classic Andrew.
It was a strangely bittersweet, and yet oddly comforting feeling as I thought, "I'm having another laugh with Andrew." It had been such a long time since Andrew made me laugh; it was almost like he was sitting there with me. It felt indescribably precious to rediscover an old feeling that I thought I would never experience again. I mean- sure I've smiled over old memories of him. But to actually laugh aloud over something new- I thought that was beyond my reach. I thought my life held nothing more in that department. And it reminded me that there are more laughs to come - someday. And it won't be through an old picture, but in person.
Happy Birthday, Andrew. Miss you more than I know how to say...