Just when I don't think I'll see a new photo of Leif (or Alex as he was still called when this photo was taken), someone brings me new ones. My sister, Leif's beloved Aunt Lannay, brought several photos to me in March that I had never seen before. I was so glad to get them.
This photo was taken at my mother's house on Pottawatomie Street in Manhattan, Kansas. We were there for the "April birthday dinner." Mom would make a big dinner for as many of the family as could come, sometimes as many as sixteen, to celebrate all the birthdays in that month. In April, the birthday "boys" were Peter W. (Leif's dad) and his cousin Tim. The original of this photo has Tim and his sister Holly in it.
Those were good times. Leif really enjoyed those family togethers, all the conversation, bantering, and Mom's excellent cooking . . . and I think he and Tim liked the peach fritters with foamy sauce the best of all.
I love seeing a photo of Leif that looks like this, happy, healthy and optimistic, joyful, even. It's so much better than the withdrawn and depressed person he became. He had hope then. You can see it in his eyes.