HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
June 18, 2007, Herald Journal

Oh, the pictures, 1,000 words

By JEN BAKKEN

The past few weeks have been difficult for my family. First, my uncle passed away. Then we lost my grandpa.

Since I started writing this column, I’ve tried to keep it funny, cute, or light hearted. With the amount of tears I’ve shed recently I doubted if I could write anything to put a smile on your face. All I could feel or think about was loss, sorrow, and pain.

Those three words don’t seem to have a place, anywhere, in a typical “Tiny Tale.” I wondered when, or if I’d have a “Tiny Tale” in me again.

Then, one night, something happened, and I went from crying to laughing in two seconds flat.

I was going through family photos to put together a collage for my grandpa’s memorial service. Each picture I found of my grandpa, with his blue eyes staring back at me, overwhelmed me with sadness. Until, I ran across a photo of my dad with long hair and baggy zebra-print pants. The longer I looked at this picture, the harder I laughed. Zebra-print pants, what was he thinking?

Now, tears were streaming down my face, not from sadness, but from uncontrollable laughter.

My stomach began to ache, when next, I held in my hand proof that not only did my brother have a mullet . . . but a mullet with a perm! And to top that off (a hard task), I can now tease him about wearing half-shirts to show off his belly button.

I better be careful though or he may bring up my ridiculously high bangs and big ‘80s hair!

Oh, the pictures!

Some brought me to tears, others laughter and some left me with questions, such as;

What was I thinking? Those have to be the ugliest, puffiest, and most peach bridesmaids dresses ever worn!

Whose house is that with the weird wallpaper and ugly plaid couch?

Is that grandpa? Who would of thought he could do push-ups!

Why on earth did my mother take a picture of me while I had a horrible case of the chicken pox? Was it to get back at me for delaying the family vacation?

And, why did I ever… ever… ever, bleach my hair platinum blonde?

Oh, the pictures!

Whether it was a picture that made me cry, laugh, or wonder “What were we thinking?” I’m glad I have them. Each photo is a glimpse into my family’s past and each one preserves a memory.

The only regret I have is that there aren’t more. From now on, I am going to make sure I use my camera as much as possible. I will make sure my children have many pictures to help them through loss, sorrow, and pain.

And a few they can tease each other about!

Do you have a Tiny Tale to share?

Tiny Tales is a column dedicated to children in our community, and the times when they create a wonderful story to tell. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, family member, caregiver, teacher or anyone with a child in your life . . . there’s always a tiny tale to tell.

It may be cute or funny things a child has said or done. Any of those endearing moments you love to share with others, and people, like me, enjoy reading.

Here in Delano we are proud of our community, our schools and our children . . . why not have a column about our little ‘tigers’?

You can e-mail your tiny tales to; jbakken@hjpub.com, fax them to 763-972-1029 or mail them to Tiny Tales, 430 Hwy 12 E. Suite 4, PO Box 498, Delano, MN 55328.