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The GabrielsVault Blog

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By The GabrielsVault Team

What Were They Thinking?

February 17, 2018

The photo is grainy, but I cherish it still. There’s my Dad on the left, smiling proudly, one hand draped over my shoulder. To the right, you can almost make out the tears of joy on Mom’s face, and there I am in the center, still in the cap and gown I had donned earlier to endure the lengthy high school graduation ceremony.

I know that day was a family highlight. I vaguely remember the family heading to a local restaurant, with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends all joining in on the celebration, offering well wishes and much unsolicited advice for living.

But that day was almost 40 (40!!!) years ago. That grainy photo, likely shot by my brother, was snapped on a real camera, with film that needed to be developed at the local photo store. No do-overs. No alternate takes provided by cel-phone wielding relatives. No Facebook posts. Just that single, slightly out-of-focus memorialization to remember the day.

Sometimes, when I come across it while perusing the family album, I think I can recall some of the things my parents said to me the day. I know they were proud of my high school achievements, and looking forward to sending me off to college, with high hopes for a bright future. I know they expressed those sentiments, but try as I might, I can’t recall with certainty, exactly what they said, or even how they said it. How I wish I could!

Both Mom and Dad have long since passed. I hope I’ve lived my life in a way that would make them proud. And I hope I’ve been able to pass along some of the character they instilled in me to my own children.

Sure, when my children graduated, we celebrated, and like any proud parents, my wife and I toasted their success, and offered heartfelt praise and advice. In the days that followed, we enjoyed viewing the torrent of new graduation celebration photos that flooded our social media pages - the work of friends and relatives who had shared the day with us.

But there were two photos in particular, one each of my son and daughter, that I cherished above all others, because they reminded me of that one photo taken 40 years ago. Those two are the photos that I uploaded to GabrielsVault. Because I want them to remember.

I want them to remember the day, and what was felt and what was said. And I want them to be reminded not just today, while their actual graduations are still fresh in their memories. I want them to remember in the future, as they cross other milestones in their lives. Who knows what life will bring them in the years ahead? But I’ve captured that moment, and know that when they receive my message, they will remember the hopes, dreams and aspirations we shared that day, exactly as they happened.

Because I want them to remember.

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