Date: Early 1960’s (Brian looks to be about 2)
Location: Newark, Delaware
Event: Family Portrait
Who: Allen Kenneth Lee, Jr., Andrew Kerry Lee and Brian Keith Lee
I love this photo of Brian and his brothers. A few months ago, Brian wrote a bit of an essay and I’ve been trying to find the right time and place to post it.
It is often said that the sweetness of success may only, truly be appreciated once we’ve tasted the bitterness of failure – a taste, I can attest – is much like prunes doused in gasoline. A taste so foul that illness and nausea consume us until the medicine of time, the antidote of fortitude, can work its inevitable cure.
I have tasted both loss and failure in recent months. The tart aftertaste of which still lingers. Yet through it all, we have this strength that leads us forward. Often like plodding through mire, we trod on. Even with a life filled with many joys and triumphs, the wake we have left behind, surely does not steer us now.
This strength, which endures despite years of scabs and scars, is my family. The one impenetrable rock I have clung to with veracity, with a death-like grip. Yes, for all of its dysfunctions it remains the one thing that I rely on for comfort, for validation, and yes, even consternation from time to time.
It is not conflict free, far from it. But like a lioness preparing her young, our small conflicts gird us from the trials and tribulations that we encounter on a daily basis. With respect and humility, it nurtures me.
Even with the passage of many years, with a long life filled with many memories, we still laugh and cry over the same stories time and time again. Through all the years my family has become my foundation. It has become my lighthouse, my beacon on the outcrop of time.
Slowly, inevitably, the sour aftertaste subsides. The sweet, rich fullness of life returns and I am once again rescued from the rocks that lay in waiting. My family, as always, is there.