The Karen Files, pt. 10

Another in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the life of our mother:

We very much like this snapshot of Karen and her father, Cecil, Sr., but it carries with it a poignancy, too. (Let’s face it, when you lose a parent, every photo of them you come across is poignant, but this one is particularly so.)

We like the mood of this shot. Karen looks so happy, and her father appears at ease and content, as well. It appears to have been shot outside the home of Cecil and his wife, Frances, in Okemah, Oklahoma, and we’d guess the year to be 1950 or so, as Karen looks to us to be a bit younger than she appeared at the time of her wedding to Lloyd, in 1954.

Hi-res view

This photo is sort of a bridge between the Granddad we knew and loved dearly (we were fond of all our grandparents, but Cecil was especially dear to us) and the young man we’ve discovered for the first time recently while sorting through all the photos that Karen left behind. We wonder if Cecil was yet wearing glasses at this point in his life. Perhaps he was, but only for reading — or it could be that his vanity convinced him to leave them behind on a table inside as they stepped out to snap this shot.

It’s not hard, in this photo, to see exactly what Lloyd found attractive in Karen. Hers is an open and friendly countenance, and she appears ready to take on the world (which she certainly did). She kept a positive outlook throughout her life, and that attitude is apparent in this picture.

We also like the bobby sox.

But the photo stirs up mournful feelings as well. We’re reminded that both Cecil and Karen were afflicted with Alzheimer’s, that these two smart, dedicated, generous souls, who loved each other so and were so beloved by others, met the same sad, debilitating fate.

Both faced it with courage and a stiff upper lip, which was no surprise to anyone who knew them, but it’s sad to think they were both so reduced by the illness that they battled so hard.

Still, it’s nice to see them in better times, both looking happy and hopeful. They each had many wonderful years ahead of them at this point in time, before the tough times took over.

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