Posted by: Cindy Lamb Sterling | June 18, 2011

Snapshot Daddy

I’ve rarely attached myself to “things”.    Oh, I have my Nannie’s 1930s rocking chair and a small painting of a mysterious little boy from my mother’s antique shop.  Both mementos have been with me in every home of my adult life.  And with one exception, I am absolutely fine with the impermanence of most things.

I really, truly wish I had more pictures.  More photos of my family, my friends, the houses and churches and schools . . .  images and evidence of the setting and characters of my childhood.   Snapshots would prove it all happened.  Once upon a time there was a beautiful mommy and a strong daddy and they loved their rascally son so much they had another child to make their fun-loving family complete.   See the adorable toddler?  That’s me, honest!  See how tall and handsome my daddy is in this one?!  I know, I know . . .oh, thanks, that’s sweet of you to say . . .

But, two things conspired against a more complete family album:

1)  My mother was a military wife.  With each transfer, somehow or other there was a mix-up, a box (or 3 or 4)  always seemed to get “lost in the move”  and oh, well, they’re just things, kiddo!   Fresh shart, chin up!  Let’s not dwell on what we can’t fix!   She travelled light because she had to.  Plus, it suited her lean and clean approach to life.

2)  After Hawaii, after 1965, after everything changed . . .my mother, my brother and I gradually let go of most of what was left of our family souvenirs.   At 13, I decoupaged pictures of the Beatles, the Monkees and peace symbols – and my family photos – in a crazy collage.  My artwork covered every inch of a huge cable spool that I used as a bedside table.  Groovy, baby!   My brother was 20, drifting down a darker path and somehow in the haze of the summer of love he let our family movies slip down the rabbit hole.

But I have always been lucky (blessed, actually) and miraculously managed to hold on to a few photos, small snippets of evidence that my family and my childhood really and truly happened.

And so, a couple of days before Father’s Day I can curl up in my Nannie’s rocking chair, smile at the painting of that mysterious little boy and show you one of my family pictures.

See?  It’s a grainy, slighty torn snapshot of my father and his little girl on the beach, probably California, I can’t be sure of that now.  But I can tell you his name was Wilmer Asbury Lamb, Jr. – affectionately called Bill by everyone in the world except his kids – Greg and me.  Because we were special.  We got to call him Daddy.  Honest, we did!


  1. I know this is an old post (five years, yikes!) but I found it while searching for posts about family and yours brought tears to my eyes. My father has multiple disabilities at this stage of his life, but I have one rare,candid snapshot (he hates having his picture taken) of him throwing back his head and laughing with joy that I cherish. It reminds me that although his shell is damaged, his heart is still there. Sometimes I see a glimpse of it in his eyes.

  2. I tend to agree that memories are the greatest treasure, and like you,I tend to travel light because I’m quite good at losing things but I’m so pleased to have come across this blog because I’ve named it “My find of the Day”. Thanks

    • Beautifully said – memories are the greatest treasure. Thank you for your kind words and the time it took to comment – we all know how much THAT means:-)!

      Also, I was delighted by your work at countingducks! What a fine writer you are . . . I subscribed and look forward to reading future posts.

      Please come back and visit soon and often – I plan to have a new post this evening . . .

      Aloha and Mahalo (thank you),

  3. I can just see you in your rocking chair, reminiscing over the precious photo. Thanks for sharing it on this Father’s Day! It inspires me to get my old photos in order 🙂

    • Jozie – I look forward to reading YOUR blog! Thanks for the subscription and the comment . . . you know how much that means as a fellow-blogger:-)

      Welcome to my site and Happy Father’s Day to you, too . . . Cindy

    • Jozie – I look forward to reading YOUR blog! Thanks for the subscription and the comment . . . you know how much that means as a fellow-blogger:-)

      Welcome to my site and Happy Father’s Day to you, too . . . Cindy

  4. Aww..That picture is just so sweet. Well as long as you have some of the prized possessions of your childhood. Love the post, very touching at places.
    Happy fathers day 🙂

    • Thanks for your kind words! You are such a thoughtful writer . . . I truly appreciate your encouragement.

      PS Overdue for another post from YOU, right?:-)

      Happy Father’s Day . . . Cindy

  5. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and yours certainly is. However, your words and descriptions are worth a thousand pictures.

    • Wow. I am proud and humbled. Wait, is that possible?

      Thank you for reading and encouraging . . . this is the beginning of what my blog will become. I’m very grateful . . .

      Happy Father’s Day – it’s bittersweet for you, too, I know . . . Cindy

  6. “No I’m not crying, I have something in my eye.” Yeah, that’s it. 🙂 Great blog. As usual. You have such a way with words. Tell my uncle & one of the best dads I know Happy Fathers Day 🙂 Love y’all!!

    • Okay, you’re my favorite again:-) You keep reading, I’ll keep writing . . .

  7. Great thoughts, Cindy. I love the picture of your childhood (figuratively and literally!). Look forward to more of the story.

    • Laura, I really appreciate the comment – my goal is to show “pictures” of a particular period of my family’s life. A memoir. This format suits me, so far:-)

  8. It is what is left in our hearts, after all else is stripped away, that matters most. “Daddy”–
    what a concept!

    • Mother Abbess: a good reader, a good writer. Thank you!

  9. What a precious, precious picture. You both look so content. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and the photo.

    • Lovely word, content . . . and it’s apt. So much of childhood – a happy one, like mine and yours wasn’t always HAPPY!!! it was mostly CONTENT. Well, said dear Suzi . . . love you and thanks for keeping up with my blog/adventure. I’ll take all the encouragement that comes my way!! Always, Cindy

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