The Family Portrait, 1988
Like many military brats -- when it was time to settle down -- it was time to find the settled. A good looking crowd -- My ex-wife's family. Third generation Chicago North Shore. The wedding photographer announced the family picture and as my new Irish Catholic relations came from every direction a guest laughed, "When does Rose Kennedy roll out in her wheel chair?"
I didn't think of looking for a family to go with my wife. That wasn't my intent. With hindsight, it's easy to see how I embraced them and became a Chicagoan in short order. Much like moving in the Army - - You quickly absorb everything in your new surroundings or you're screwed.
I was married for 13 years... to my wife and to these people. I loved them very much but after the divorce, except for four people, I never saw or heard from any of them again. In all fairness -- I never reached out. I wasn't sure how. They may have had the same problem with me.
A friend is going through a divorce and I think how sad it is to not only lose your spouse, but their family as well. I lost so many friends in the Army after only knowing them for a year or two. It's inconceivable to me to lose people you know for 13 years. When asked if I knew someone in this picture... I said, "I used to."