We were both born in the same small Illinois railroad town. I know she spent summer evenings hearing the rattling and whistles of the Burlington Northern and the Santa Fe Zephyr roll though her open windows. Her parents came from Sweden; my dad came from the east side of the train tracks.
We both had little sisters....
...and exasperating brothers...
...who played football.
Grandma graduated 8th grade. But on her own as a widow, she sent her 2 daughters on to graduate college with honors. My dad did the same for me and I did it for my own daughter. To this day, both happy and heartbreaking experiences at the same school are a part of my family legacy as much as they are of my own education.
Did this gaze into the camera give her any idea of what the next years would bring? The harsh years of the 1930's, the anguish of a son missing in action somewhere in Europe, widowhood with young children? I wish I had a hat that would say as much about me as these do. Look here, bring it on. I can face it - whatever it is - with style
So the details and the ups and downs of life for her and for me are a puzzle right now. But I think of her on Mother's Day and hope I do have the good grace I know was hers. Thank you Grandma, time will tell.