Friday Drabble: Pictured

drabble is a very short story of exactly 100 words. Feel free to join in and write your own drabbles on Fridays and tag them with “friday drabble” and on Twitter with the hashtag #fridaydrabble.


The picture is old. Black and white from a time that I think should be in color. I am the same age as the picture, but I am not old.

You were always old to me. As a boy, you were a grown man. Whiskers and strong arms and dark hair. As a grown man, you were an old man. Slack skin and bad hearing and cancer.

I hold the old picture. A fragile thing now saved on disk and drive and cloud that will endure. In it, you are younger than I am now. And I am not old.

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32 thoughts on “Friday Drabble: Pictured

      • I figured there was something like that to spur your post.

        I’d been wanting to relate this little incident in some way, but it really didn’t fit in with anything else. I read your post and thought – “a drtabble!” My biggest problem was making it long enough.

  1. My father was 34 when I was born. That wouldn’t be unusual today, as people delaying parenthood until their 30s is the norm: but in the 1950s and 60s my parents were regarded as curiously old for starting a family. I also remember being mortified at my second-grade open house because the parents of my classmates were all so youthful: they looked like they’d just stepped out of Tiger Beat Magazine with their skinny ties and thin-lapel suits and their mini-skirts. My parents by comparison looked dowdy and old, with my mother wearing a dress with a flared, over the knee skirt and my father in pleated khakis and short-sleeve shirt. When a girl I was trying to befriend asked me how old my parents were, I blushed and couldn’t speak, I was too embarrassed.

    I thought of this when I attended my son’s high school graduation and saw all these gray-haired, bifocaled people around me. In another day, they would have been mistaken for grandparents, but they were in fact the parents of the 18- and 19-year-olds walking across the stage. One proud father was actually using a walker. It was a bit sobering.

    • HG — it’s been said that I was an “oops” baby (mostly by my siblings) as both my parents were in their 40s when I was born, so I too usually had the oldest parents among my set of friends.

      One of my mentors when I was in college was a scientist that I worked for as an intern at DuPont. He remarried in his 50s to a woman who was 15 years his junior. They had a child when he was 56! Really sadly, he died when he was only 68 and she just starting high school. But you get the parents you get.

  2. Oh my God…that is such a romantic photo. Your family looks so picture perfect from an old black-and-white romance movie. You can almost imagine that after this photo shoot, you went into the house, your dad lit the fire, and mom sat on the rocking chair, perhaps nursing you, or knitting, and brother sat before the fire, playing with his toy trucks, and dad himself on the arm chair, reading the news paper.
    Feels warm and fuzzy, just the image.
    The drabble is touching too.

    • LG — thanks! I can’t imagine our live ever being so fuzzy. Or so serene!! The Ancestral Betz home was wasn’t typically so — but I’ll tell you what — today I’ll remember it just like you described. :)

  3. It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? My four year old grandson did not recognise the 12 year old neighbour boy who was hired to play pirate games at my grandson’s birthday party. To a four year old he was just another ‘adult.’ PS. have you used that photo before for another prompt? I seem to remember…but then I’m a gran and my memories are not what they used to be.

    • mary — i think one of the things that’s been so interesting about the social media generation is seeing a number of my friends from when I was little and thinking, my God, you look like your parents!

    • Oh — and I think I might have used it before. I’ve looked at old posts I’ve labeled ‘family’ and such, but haven’t found it — so you might have a better memory than me!

    • Lynn — this week would have been my father’s birthday. He died in 1998. Seems like forever ago sometimes, and just yesterday others.

      I am the baby. I’m guessing my sister (who is older than my brother) must have taken the shot.

  4. Pingback: Tax Day Will Never Be The Same | Lynn Schneider Books

  5. What a beautiful piece. Flows nicely. It’s something that I thought of recently too, seeing a photo of my Dad when he was younger than I am now. Quite something.

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