Around this time every year, I pause to think of my brothers who left our family far too soon.
At this time of year, we would have been right in middle of celebrating their birthdays.
Brian Joseph Hadden was born November 25, 1956, and died February 3, 1957. Stephen Gerard Hadden was born December 2, 1957, and died February 16, 1959.
Brian spent his short life in Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, never having the chance to join us at home. As a result, I sadly have no real memories of Brian.
Stephen, on the other hand, did come home from the hospital and I have many vivid memories associated with his short life. Some of my reflections about Brian and Stephen can be read in I Remember Stephen (from 2009) and Paying Respects to Brian and Stephen Hadden (from 2014).
This then is my most precious photo. It is not the oldest or most artistic. But, it is the only known photo to exist of my brother Stephen.
I am almost certain that the photo was taken by my father. My mother was holding Stephen as she sat on the couch in the living room of our home at 189 Pickering Street in Toronto while I stood beside them.
The photo was given to me by my father at mother’s funeral in 1994. He told me that it was something she wanted me to have. So, from that perspective, the photo is special on many levels.