“The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.”
—Naomi Shihab Nye
“My Favorite Picture of You” is a melancholy song by Guy Clark about love lost and chances missed. When we asked our readers to send their favorite picture of a loved one, no such sad story arrived. Your neighbors sent photos and stories all about love enduring, chances taken, happiness. Maybe that doesn’t make for a very good country tune. But their stories are sweet, inspiring, courageous. Cheers to them for sharing.
The favorite uncle
“It was just a normal day of playing outside and doing yard work, nothing special.” That’s how Jamie Nelson describes the snapshot she took of her husband being pushed on a child’s scooter by their sons and nephew. She can’t remember when it was taken, just that it’s “about a year old.”
The picture captures just how life is for the Nelsons, she says.
Her sister, Jennifer Crecelius, lives a few blocks away from their home on Twelfth Street. And their homes are full of family.
“We’re a really close family,” she says. “We really take time to enjoy each other. Sometimes I think we don’t see a lot of people outside the family because we’re always together, being goofy.”
Nelson is from Oak Cliff and graduated from Tyler Street Christian Academy, where her kids, 7-year-old Jerry and 4-year-old Jack, go to school, along with 4-year-old cousin Andrew. She says the generational thing is common at that school.
“It’s really weird seeing your old high school friends in the morning rushing to get their kids to school,” she says.
In the picture, Jerry, Jack and Andrew push Nelson’s husband, Jeromy, whose expression is a mix of intensity and silliness.
It’s her favorite picture of him because it personifies what a wonderful father and uncle he is, she says.
“He always makes us laugh,” she says.
Bre met Jon Taylor at church. She and a friend were organizing a film group there, and he was interested.
They learned that they shared a love of British comedies.
“He gave me his card, and we just started emailing constantly over that next week and started hanging out,” Bre Taylor says.
They were engaged three weeks later. Three months after that, they wed.
When you know, you know, she says.
“My family was kind of like, ‘Wait, what? Who is this?’ But yeah, it was awesome,” she says.
He quickly won them over with homemade lasagna.
Their son Jack was born about three years ago in a birth center. And with baby Liv on the way last year, they decided to have a home birth.
“Jon was my rock during both of our children’s births, but especially with the home birth with Liv,” she says. “He was the best coach and encourager I could ask for.”
The Nelsons, who live near Kidd Springs Park, were professionally photographed by Rebekah Greenawalt. The photo, taken shortly after Liv was born, shows the family relaxed and happy. You can see the love.
“I think it’s his eyes and his smile … and just this contentment,” she says. “He has these eyes that I just fall into, and he’s just got the kindest heart, and he’s just my rock.”
Baby bump por Vida
Tiffany and Ana Alvarez-Thurman spent a year trying to get pregnant.
The couple, married in California in 2008, went through three rounds of intrauterine insemination, all unsuccessful.
“We decided to take a break for physical and emotional reasons,” says Tiffany, a teacher.
Once they regrouped, they decided to be more aggressive and go for in vitro fertilization, which is more expensive and invasive than the previous method.
But first, they tried another doctor, who diagnosed a vitamin deficiency in Tiffany and tried the less invasive procedure once more. The very first attempt was successful.
“We were very excited,” Tiffany says.
Once her pregnancy started to show, Tiffany wanted professional photos, “instead of just iPhone pictures,” she says.
They hired their friend and L.O. Daniel neighbor Robert Bittle for the shoot at the Dallas Arboretum.
“It captures how we feel about each other,” Tiffany says of the photo. “The happiness in being able to create this new life … I just thought it was a nice little picture of the three of us before she was actually here, and I think we look really happy because we were.”
Their baby was born in October, and they named her Vida, which is Spanish for “life.” Ana, an architect, is from Puerto Rico and a native Spanish-speaker.
Tiffany says the birth of Vida brought her family closer in ways that she hadn’t expected.
“Being gay, I think it was a little bit more difficult for my family than it was for Ana’s,” she says. “But once we began the process of starting a family, it brought everyone together. It brought everyone together, and it made our relationship OK in a way that maybe it hadn’t been thought of before. It felt like it changed things in the eyes of the rest of my family.”