While editing Easter photos this year, I came across a first. This video is the first in a long list of videographies that I've created over the course of the last 3 years. This one captures Sadia's first Easter:
We were in the neighborhood park that day taking Easter photos.
Sadia and I frequented this park on my summers off. It is only a few blocks from the apartment complex we lived in when Teddy and I first got married. Although it was a transitional period for us, the environment wasn't what you would call nurturing. Beer cans and graffiti were the most notable litter items. Curbsides were always plastered with parked cars, no matter the time of day. Dense apartment structures broke up the skyline. Essentially, it was a concrete jungle.
As if the ambiance could be worsened by yet another detail, I'm fairly certain that our upstairs neighbor was a drug dealer. Of this I am certain, because the walls in our apartment were so paper thin that I could hear the details of just about every meth transaction that took place upstairs. One day, the dealer's water pipes burst sending rusty water surging through the soffit cavities leaking through the ceiling. It took the owners so long to extract the moisture from the crawl space, that mold began to settle. I despised my humble beginnings.
One afternoon after church, while searching for a spot to park among the sea of circa 1980s generously used vehicles, Teddy encountered a young man and woman who were engaged in a heated argument. The guy was a thug, with prison tattoos as neck ornaments. He quickly became abusive with the woman, who was presumably his girl friend. At some point, Teddy felt compelled to step in to protect the woman's safety. As he approached, the guy stuck his hand in his jacket pocket, and gestured vehemently, as one might if he were concealing a weapon. The sum total of our living nightmare in that neighborhood converged in that moment, and thus began our search to find more adequate housing.
There were no redeeming qualities about that place. It had obviously lost its charm decades ago. So, it is with a heavy heart that I reflect on these memories. Strangely though, the juxtaposition of Sadia's tender years against a backdrop of that harsh environment makes the whole experience more unique.