Smile for the Camera

This is one of several pictures of Dad on the rare occasion when he relinquished his precious Kodak Retina camera to Mom. Whenever he was convinced to do so, he carefully posed himself in front of the lens to appear as though he had no idea he was being snapped; but there was usually a tell, a small smile or a slight sideways glance.

In this 1957 Jamaica picture, however, he looks as though he’s actually on a mini vacation from his reality which, that day, was carting a slew of visiting relatives to Montego Bay for a day of Caribbean fun, rum and calypso.

After photographing my pensive father, my mother stands on the same small outcrop, boldly smiling into the camera that’s once again safely strapped around Dad’s neck. I want to believe she was as relaxed and happy as she looks but it’s anyone’s guess, because Mom’s quicksilver disposition kept us all on our tippy toes.

Much too young, Dad climbed the stairway to heaven 44 years ago, and Mom followed him last year after living the remainder of her many long days pining for what she had lost.

I believe the youthful and carefree versions of themselves are at long last reunited. Maybe Mom has her own Kodak Retina now, or maybe Dad is less reluctant to hand his over. In any case, I hope they’re both smiling for the camera.