The Final Picture

Used to, I could tell when a certain “day” was approaching. Anniversary dates, birthdays, separation date, ask for divorce date...you get the picture. I would feel uneasy and would be “off.” I would look at the calendar and then understand and tell myself, “oh ya, that’s why I’ve been feeling this way, this is when he packed his bags and left,” etc.

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Although it’s just another date on the calendar, my heart said otherwise. Yet, the old adage “time heals all wounds” is true for me. Things stung for a while after my divorce, dates would pop up on me and memories would flood. But year after year, memories of my old life started to fade away and not weigh on my heart as they once did.


Easter will be eight years removed from my marriage. Eight years, wow. Yet when this picture popped up on my memories, it shocked me by my response; that little sting.



You see, this was the last family picture we took together. Christmas of 2009, we were struggling. We weren’t communicating, something was wrong. I wanted to talk about it. He didn’t want to talk at all. I was angry. Why didn’t he want to fix this? Why wasn’t he doing anything to help fix this? We had spent 17 years together. Weren’t we worth fighting for?



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I remember the day we took this picture. I had picked out the perfect matching outfits for the girls. Our clothes for pictures always had to match! My parents and sister’s family even came along so we could get a whole family picture together. We hadn’t had one with all the grandkids. It was almost Christmas time.


The picture went out in our normal holiday cards that year not knowing in three months that our lives were about to change forever.

That’s what pictures you make do right? Make you stop and think back to that specific moment of time. If we only knew then, what we know now. Would we want to know? Would it have changed anything? No.


I’m thankful for this picture. I’m thankful we got to take our daughters on one family vacation together before we divorced. I’m thankful that when they see them as they are older, they will know they had two parents who loved them very much. We just decided we couldn’t love each other. I’m thankful for the memories that let me see where things were and for today, so I see where I am now.


Pictures are there to remind us of what we have been through, the good times and even the bad.


As Andy Warhol said, “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” 

JR