I’m sensitive to these sorts of things, you understand. I can’t help myself. A person’s background informs present realities. So when I see pictures like the one above of Army Major John Jackson wearing full dress uniform as he heads into court, I want to holler at somebody.
The dress uniform holds personal meaning to me. The last time I saw my father he, too, was wearing something similar. Only Daddy wasn’t dressed up for court. He was dressed up for burying.
Every now and again, I come across those close-up photos that somebody, Lord only knows who, took of my father in that casket. When I was a young girl and would happen across those photos in Mama’s file box, the sight would sicken me something fierce. I would shut my eyes and quickly flip through the photos, scared that if I looked too closely at my daddy that way, I might not ever get that dead man’s face out of my mind. Now that I am older, I have actually held those those photos in my hands and studied them for a good long while. I am never quite sure what I am searching for, some hint, I think, of emotion. I believe the face ought to tell the living something about the dying.