"Heirlooms"

Here's a picture of my mother when she was fourteen years old. I found it hard to believe this was really Mama, so I checked it out with my sister, and she said "Yes, Mama always said this was her when she was fourteen." And her name was underneath it in the photo album in Mama's own handwriting. This was taken probably around 1931.

The picture on the right was made in 1934, just before my parents got married. They were standing by the chimney of the house where she grew up, my grandparents house. This is the "home" we assumed she was referring to when her Alzheimer's disease caused her to always want "to go home", back to the only home she remembered.

This is my favorite picture of my parents, made in 1934 after they got married. They were such a romantic-looking couple, I think. My dad was fifteen years older than my mother. He was thirty and she was seventeen when they got married.

I love this one too! How romantic! Mama would often tell me the story of her engagement to my dad. She was already engaged to another guy, but when my dad asked her, she said yes right away. I think she surprised everyone, including the other guy.

Mama with her first baby, My sister Myrtle, born in 1936. My sister is twenty years older than me, and there were two brothers born in the years between our births--the closest one to my age is eight years older.

The rest of the family, my two brothers William and Bob, my grandmother, and the baby in my mother's lap is me! This was made in 1957, the year before my grandmother died. My mother took care of both of her parents before they died--and had a houseful of kids at the same time.

Tall and slim in her youth, standing high above others, it's hard to believe this is the same person of whom I took care. But she still stood tall in other ways, and she was surrounded by the loving family that she and my dad had built. We all miss her so much.


"Heirlooms"

Up in the attic,
Down on my knees.
Lifetimes of boxes,
Timeless to me.
Letters and photographs,
Yellowed with years,
Some bringing laughter,
Some bringing tears.

Time never changes,
The memories, the faces
Of loved ones, who bring to me,
All that I come from,
And all that I live for,
And all that I'm going to be.
My precious family
Is more than an heirloom to me.
--© Amy Grant


Copyright © 1997-2004 Brenda S. Parris


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