Today marks 4 years since mom passed. I started sharing these stories last year in the hopes that I would get to understand her better, to know who she really was. I’m not sure I found what I was originally looking for, but this process has helped me in ways I never could have imagined. I was still feeling pretty broken in my own life from the challenges of recent years and I was seeking guidance and support, although I didn’t know that at the time. I think I have a better understanding of the strength and courage the entire family had to get through what they were faced with . Polio didn’t just impact mom, but her entire family. And the faith Grandma carried, the grace and humility she showed in her letters and memories have left me with gratitude for the incredibly strong line of women that I come from. The letters helped me see how Grandma was held steady by her faith in God during what must have been an unbelievably challenging time. It’s one thing reading the letters on this side of history – knowing that mom survived and knowing how things turned out. But at the time…. There would have been no way to know, no guarantees, and everything was just blind faith. As someone who really struggles with trusting that God has my back even when I can’t see it – this has been very comforting.
Look at how dressed up Grandma and Grandpa got to go visit mom at the hospital! And the garden in the background!! I remember as a kid playing with the snapdragons in this flower garden. It’s gone now, and there’s a deck near here – but I really miss the flowers growing along the side of the house. Grandma really had a green thumb.
Some of the most important members of the family – the pets of days gone by
Only two photos today but they’re a couple of my favorites and copies hang in our hallway. The first one is my grandpa with my great aunt (his sister) coming back from a successful fishing trip at the creek below the house. The second one is my uncle and my mom doing the exact same thing about 40 years later. For some reason we didn’t do a similar photo for the next two generations.
Last night I received a wonderful gift, and my uncle spent hours (literally hours – I think over 3) going through my photos with me and a couple of cousins, and writing down who was in every one of them. Not only did he remember an incredible number of people, but he was able to name many of the animals in the photos as well. I am grateful and it will certainly make sharing these memories more accurate. Again though, if anyone is able to recognize anyone who is unnamed please pass that information on to me (or any good stories associated with the photos).
Additionally, I am looking for a local (Calgary area) recommendation for someone who does high quality scanning of old photos. I want to publish these in a book for the family to share and enjoy and my scanner is not of a good enough quality. Thank you in advance for anyone who has any suggestions.