Growth is a Sign of Life

Author: Elizabeth Rozier

Rozier Family PortraitFor the first time in over a decade, my family had an official family portrait taken. My mom never passes on a great deal and when Groupon sent out one for portraits she bought it and set the date with enough warning no one could give adequate excuse to miss.

I know I am writing to people who understand the importance of this occasion and to whom some things don’t need explaining; but for those who need the clarification, it was the first family portrait without my big brother present. My brother was killed in 2003, several years after our last family portrait. We have the obligatory family wedding pictures, but those don’t count…at least they didn’t to me. Our second Christmas after Jonathan’s death we posed with our extended family but it only served to further provoke a few of us (more closely impacted by his death) into a rotten day.  

This portrait was the first time in 8 ½ years that we were genuinely smiling for the camera. I think for me it marked a defining moment that we had arrived, as a family, at a new normal.  Looking at the picture I see other evidence that time has moved on, we added a few more faces. While our family contracted in size 8 ½ years ago, it continued to grow after that…and growth is a sign of life.