I was thinking of this blog post most of the afternoon (in between concentrating at work). This week's post was going to be something light, something akin to last week's video. (Hint: Gene Kelly!)
Then I checked my phone.
No, someone hadn't tried to call with dire news. My mom had sent a text. Since I talked to her this morning, I assumed it would be about our conversation. I was wrong. Instead, she had sent a picture of a group of people - her parents, her mother's parents, and her mother's brother, sister, and their spouses.
It was like looking through a window into the past.
Little details jumped out - how my grandma and her brother had similar eyebrows, while the two sisters' smiles mirrored each other; how my great-grandmother smiled despite her left eye being permanently shut (from everything Mom has told me, the eye shut after her youngest child was born and it never reopened - not that it daunted her!); my great-grandfather smiled despite also looking surprised.
How my grandfather was not looking at the photographer, but at the ground. I've seen few pictures of him, and many that I have seen, he's not looking at the camera. Like he'd rather not be photographed.
Both my husband and my mother-in-law dislike having their picture taken. Not everyone can look natural on camera. Like my grandmother, whose bright smile shines through the picture into the 21st century.
Exactly like I remember her. :) In a sweet touch, my grandfather's hand is barely seen, tucked around his wife's waist.
All of this made me think of one song - a sad one, but a comforting one as well. The lyrics come from J. R. R. Tolkien's book, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
-Ballantine, 1983, p. 347