Sunday, May 13, 2012

Here's Looking at You

I've spent a lot of time this past year thinking about my grandmother.  At least from my vantage point of time, the events, circumstances and people in both our lives seen to overlap and reflect each other, at least a bit, right now.  If nothing more than as a way to gather some strength from her remembered and imagined fortitude, I want to share something of her this Mother's Day.

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.

 

6 comments:

Catherine said...

Great family photos! Happy Mother's Day!

Margaret said...

What wonderful photos! It's so cool to hear a bit about your family history and to think about your grandma and her brothers, sister and family. Happy Mother's Day to you and yours!

Bertie said...

Lovely story and the pictures are fabulous, hope your day was good!!

Penny said...

I enjoyed hearing about your family - love the pictures!

Lois said...

What wonderful pictures Mary. So often so much is lost from the generations that have been and gone, the struggles they went through, how their lives were lived and yet what they went through is what shaped our lives. I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day!

Lanie said...

Great photos and such wonderful memories of your grandmother. If for no other reason, I'm glad for Mother's Day to remember the women in our families who shaped who we are today. Hope you had a wonderful day!