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"The Tear"

Thereís something about a photograph.
Many people believe that having your picture taken
steals some of your soul.

I look at pictures of friends and relatives who have died,
and I can see that soul,
especially in the eyes, the _expression,
and even the body english.

I have a picture of my mother
taken at a holiday gathering during her later years.
She was smiling, and seemed to be in the Christmas spirit.

Iíve looked at that picture many times,
but a few weeks ago, I enlarged it,
and thought I saw something.

I hit the 200% button, made it really big,
and zoomed in on her face.
The smile was still there,
but in her eye I saw something unexpected:
A tear.

I sat back in shock and took a deep breath.
What could she have been thinking?
Was it a tear of joy or sadness?
Did she know that it may be one of her last family moments?
I asked her that question aloud,
but the photograph didnít answer.

Iím sure we were all enjoying the moment together,
but at the same time, taking it for granted.
You always think there will be many more.
Now I realize
my mother was not taking that moment for granted.

I keep going back to look at the photo,
even though itís burned into my mind,
and my heart.

When I discovered the tear behind her smile,
I had tears to match hers.
We spoke to each other beyond the limits of time and space.

There is soul in a photograph.

Copyright © Jan. 20, 2005, Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.


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