May 22, 1978. It was my mother’s birthday and I was 8 years old at the time. I was born in the Philippines and lived there till I was 14. I had one other sister and another brother who left the Philippines for Canada before I was born. My parents and my sister in the photo were the family I knew.
Never knew my two other siblings, in fact, although I’ve moved to Canada in 1984, it was difficult for me to think of them as family. We just didn’t bond, there was no foundation to do it. My sister Mercy in the photo is now living in New York City with her three children. I feel closer to her even though we’re physically far from each other. Both my parents are now living in Toronto, not far from where I live. They hardly ever get a visit from my two other siblings.
It’s sad. In April of 1981, our house in the Philippines burned down, most of the things we owned were gutted including a lot of photos of my childhood and my parents in the early years of their marriage. This was the only one that survived.
I wish I had family photos from the past. That’s why this photo is special to me and and I wanna share it with you. Photographs are very important tools to capture events in your life, not just the important ones but the ordinary ones as well. They refresh your memory of a time long gone. Most often you smile, giggle or let out a loud laughter. Other’s make you cry. This photo put tears in my eyes. It was taken at a place I may never go back again and at a time when my future hasn’t even been drawn up. A time of innocence.
Henry (Ontario, Canada)
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