This is a glimpse of what Easter Sunday looked like for the Hoover family seventy-nine years ago. The inscription on the back of the photos says, "Easter Sunday, April 9, 1944."
There are so many things to see in a picture. Things that are visible. Things that you have to look for. Things that are missing. Things that have yet to happen.
In this picture, I see the tender arm that John Hoover has placed around the shoulder of his grand daughter Sally. I imagine, although I can't see it this picture, that his other hand is gently touching the backside of Jane.
I wonder what Jane is holding in her hand.
In this picture, I see how Leo is holding Mary Ann. Although she is just a baby he made a point to uncover her face and turn her toward the camera. He wanted her to be seen.
I notice that one of Maxine and Leo's four daughters, Jill Louise, is not is the picture. It will be another year and a couple of months before she is born.
In this picture, I notice that Lizzie is trying to smile. But I also notice how she looks a bit uncomfortable. I wonder if perhaps she was thinking about three of her boys (George, Henry and Michael) who were in Europe, fighting in World War II. I wonder how worried she is about two of her other boys (Andrew and Jake) who are in the military but have not yet been called to active duty. I imagine how happy she must have been to have Jake (standing behind her in the picture) home for Easter dinner.
While the family came together to celebrate Easter that day, they had no way of knowing that on that same day, Michael Clarence Hoover was part of bombing mission flying to Tutow, Germany. It was part of a continued assault on the German Air Force to slow their production of FW-190s. Read more about that mission here: https://www.b24.net/MM040944.htm
The picture gave me a moment of pause when I realized that it may be the last photo taken of John Hoover. On May 13, 1944, just one month and four days after the Easter Sunday picture was taken, he would pass away.
His death certificate indicates the cause of death as "crushed chest, fractured skull - trampled by horse."
All of Lizzie's boys would return home from WWII. They would each live well into their seventies or eighties.
Her son Leo, however, would die on March 17, 1953 at the age of 38.
What do you see or imagine or wonder when you look at this picture?