Sunday, May 3, 2009



Somehow, in the midst of many, many moves, this tiny Polaroid picture of my family has survived it's share of sufferings. Tattered and a bit faded, creased and torn, the photo represents for me a snapshot of the true American family. Mine. It was taken in the Spring of 1963, back when my father was 33 years old and my mother was 29. I lovingly restored the only copy in existence and can't help but be truly thankful it wasn't lost or destroyed over the years.

I can't tell you much about this day except that it was a Sunday! Taken long before my sister Jenny was born, my mother dressed her three children to the nines, thanks to the talent of my grandmother (who was always making my older sister and I matching dresses). The church we attended in Hacienda Heights, California, can be seen in the background as well as an old station wagon (my brother could tell you the make and model). I can only say I know for 100% sure the car was not ours...we never drove anything remotely that nice.
We were a working-class family. My parents owned a tiny track home and my father, a struggling student of the Word, worked his way towards his goal of full-time pastoring for many years... I remember well those days of early want and longing~ But, I can only look back upon them today and smile. For all the things my parents did that proved not to be the best of decisions during my growing-up years, they did a million things right. Forever etched in my memory and woven into the fabric of my heart is the knowledge they did the best they could with all that they had. For this I am most grateful! If I make it to the other side of seventy, I pray my children will feel as blessed...and won't judge me too harshly for my imperfections...
(My brother's Wedding Day~ Lin, Mom, Bill, Daddy & Me)

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that." Ephesians 5:1-2 (The Message).

Blessings to you as you worship with your family...Rebecca


June said...

Hi Rebecca, I enjoyed this glimpse into your life. Snippets of time that make you who you are. These old pictures tell our stories and I treasure all the ones that I have. I am glad for you that this sweet one of your family has survived.It is so fun to see it. You are a lovely little girl.
Hugs, June

English Cottage in Georgia said...

Rebecca, your family reminds me so much of mine growing up. Albeit, I had one more additional sister and my Dad was not a minister. Although, he was the religious head of the household and up until his death worried about failing church attendance of all his children.
We did not have alot growing up. I did not feel poor or needy, because we had such a feeling of security in our home.
Love your vintage pics and memories.

Barb said...

Dearest Rebecca, your descriptions of your family are so endearing and lovely.

You are truly blessed, my friend.

Hugs, Barb

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful family - both then and now. So very precious.

Rest assured, your children will feel the same about their loving and wonderful parents. I just know it.

Regardless of what we have and don't have, our families are our rocks - our safe haven. At least that's how it is for me. It sounds like for you as well.

I loved seeing the photos and hearing the stories, Rebecca. It makes me think of precious memories of my own.

Much love,

Eileen & Karen said...

Rebecca, it is always a joy to read your postings. Thanks for bringing back the Sunday memories from childhood. I think most of us had little but felt rich in the gifts our parents gave us, love and security. Sunday was always our family day, Church, Sunday School, Sunday dinner and then back for the evening service. Life seemed so much simpler then, slower and not so many demands from every direction. I miss that time. Thanks for the memories!

blushing rose said...

How blessed you are ... the lovely family photo of yore, a christian life, beautiful memories of your childhood ... we all came from a time when life was so different, more relaxed & trusting ... security.

We 4 girls, too, grew up with the matching dressed, Mother would sew until the wee hours of the morning to create beautiful dresses for us.
The car we had Mother's brother 'lent' to us ... we had $2 a month for gas ... we were happy with a lettuce & butter sandwich. We were 'rich', but didn't know that until we grew up to reflect. God carried us thru some rough times ...

A whole different world we live in now. The memories of our youth & times are fondly recalled often.
TTFN ~ Marydon

Anonymous said...

I recall as a young girl going every Sunday to sunday mass then sunday school & every Wednesday we went to mass. I enjoyed very much listening to the word being shared and I recall trying to figure out how I would fit in what Father O'Leary was trying to teach us. If I didn't get it on Sunday, i'd figure it out with the nuns on Monday. I miss those nuns more than I thought I would back then!!

Mary H said...

~~Rebecca~~Thanks for the sweet visit and nice comments you left. I enjoy them and they ALWAYS make me feel good. Love today's post about your family. Family has ALWAYS been important to me. There are 3 boys and 2 girls in our family and my Dad was a craftsman all his life. There was never anything my Dad could not fix or repair. He loved teaching my brothers to work on car projects and how to build things with a hammer and nails. Those were wonderful times. As hard as they seemed then, they are beautiful memories today. By the way, I think that is a 1956 Chevy station wagon in the background. One thing my Dad taught me, I guess. It used to be a game we played to guess which car year cars were by the grill and tail lights.
Well, I've rambled wish you could have been with me yesterday at the antique faire too. They will have another one later on this year at the end of September. (wink!)

wildbillyelliott said...

I can't be sure, but I think it is a '55 or '56 Pontiac wagon... Pontiac for sure.

GM killed PONITAC this last week, following the demise of OLDSMOBILE several year ago...

I'm not sure why, but I find these facts very sad. One more thread of American life gone forever.

Rebecca Nelson said...

To: Wildbillyelliott...I figured you would know what kind of car this was. To this day you amaze me with how you can sooo accurately nail down a car's make and model. I miss you. B PS: I loved my Oldsmobile Aurora...

Sue @ Not the Good Scissors! said...

Rebecca, your children and grandchildren will look back and have good memories of their family. They will always be grateful and feel blessed that they have a wonderful family. xoo, Susan

A Romantic Porch said...

Rebecca, Both of those photos are beautiful. I LOVE the vintage perfection of the one from 1963. Parenting is the hardest job in the world in my honest opinion. Your posting is so awesome. xo rachel

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