When I look at my parents' old photos made before I was born, I see a happy and respectable family, but I can't escape the feeling that it's not the family I had in my childhood.
My father worked in civil aviation. He retired at the age of 45 and gave in to his addiction to alcohol more and more. He drank non-stop for weeks on end. We had a relatively quiet life only when he was sober. Mom made every effort to control my father and absolutely everything happening in the house; she had to be strong. She was composed and thoughtful as if constantly contemplating how to solve all the problems that had come her way. She controlled every step of the family members because it helped her to cope with her concerns. And thus she always worried, seldom smiled and almost never expressed her affections.
I have very few happy reminiscences of the family. Nearly always the atmosphere at home was tense. At least I felt it this way. I have been living in another city, over 3,000 km away from my parents, for many years. I visit them more and more seldom, but every time I come I revise photos from the family archive. It's a pleasure for me to see my family like this - young, active, joyful. I want to be with them. Then, now and always.
I found the way to make it possible - using imagination and creating collages from our old photos, I create myself a new memory of my childhood, make up everything from scratch, and become a part of that happy family from the photos. Because everyone has the right for a happy past.