Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Sweetest Gift

So I made no bones about the fact that Christmas Break 2010 was two weeks spent being ill. 

So ill I only left the house to go to the doctor.  No Christmas shopping, no present swapping, in short, no fun.

However, that did not stop a very sweet gift from making its way to my very bedside.  Before I tell you the gift, let me give you a little exposition.

You have to understand, my father ended his role as a bachelor at the ripe age of 39.  I came along when he was 41.  Daddy was the last of his brothers and sisters to get married, so my grandmother and grandfather on that side were already old when I came along.  Case in point:
I was two weeks old in this picture.  My grandmother was 76.  By this point, she already had 34 other grandchildren and had gone blind.  This is how I remember her.  An old woman.  She was smart-even though she was unable to see, she could play the piano and knew the Bible backwards and forwards.  She also knew all the grandkids' names what we liked to do.  As I got older she lost a little weight, but I will always remember her like this.

Until Christmas Eve 2010.  My parents drove to Tennessee, where this grandmother lived and many of my relatives still call home.  Upon returning, Mama came in my room and presented me with this:
The first time in my entire 30 years I have ever seen my grandmother as a young woman.  She was born in 1904 and no one knew when this picture was taken.  We all guessed she could be no more than 18.  The picture I have is a copy of the original, but the original must be somewhere around 100 years old.  My aunt had it and made a copy for my dad.  It's embarrassing to admit, but I had never even tried to imagine what she looked like-I had assumed some people were just born old in my childish way.  And looking at this photograph, I see so much resemblance of my father and my cousin Judy.  This photograph ties together generations.

I've seen plenty of pictures of my other grandmother as a young woman, but none of my daddy's mother.  Of all the gifts I received this Christmas, this was the sweetest gift.

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