I cannot describe how strange it is to be looking at photos of my father and realizing that he was the same age as my son would have been now.
It's the same with my mother. Looking at them at the old fashioned dinner dances, just hitting their thirties and then wondering what I was doing at that age.
I read somewhere, don't ask because I've forgotten, a man said he disliked the Mona Lisa because she had cruel eyes. When I put my hand over the bottom half of her face, I could see what he meant. I've done that a lot with photographs of me. The longer I was married, the eyes lost the smile that my mouth performed.
Old photographs are useful for memory. What year did the mirror go on the wall? How long ago did we get rid of that awful lounge suite? I thought those curtains were almost new and they've been up, how long?
But the boys, I can't look at the boys. My son with the golden curls, my nephew with the brown ones, always together. They were closer than brothers, closer than just friends, always planning trouble, in trouble or charming their way out of trouble.
There was one photograph that I wished had more detail, was larger so I could really see them. It was a rare holiday at the beach, cold enough for them to be rugged up and wearing beanies but there they were, arms around each other, standing in the waves which were slowly filling their gumboots and they were laughing. Freezing, soaking wet but laughing.
For all the New Agers that are waiting for the end of the world in 2012, blink and you'll miss it.
I blinked and 25 years disappeared.