Sunday, November 22, 2015

Old Photographs

Today I am thankful for the gift of life. Pronounced dead by the doctor before birth, I nonetheless made an appearance on one November 22nd during the Jurasic Era, very much alive. 

I suppose things were different then. Not everybody had a camera, and I don't think baby books were a big thing yet.

One night after Mom had died, I was sitting on the couch at Daddy's house, looking though tins of old photos. 

My great-grandfather, Tom Howard
with his wife (seated) and daughter

People in old photographs always look profound. They seem to have stories to tell and secrets to keep. If only we could talk to those people, if we could reach right through the photograph and ask them questions. What was your life like? What did you learn here on Earth? I saw pictures of aunts and cousins and nieces and nephews and total strangers who were probably dead relatives.

I found a sepia-tone picture of a baby and wondered who it might be. Daddy? Mama? One of my brothers? Given the disarray of these pictures, it could be anybody. (Apparently I inherited my photo management ability from my mom.)

Then I saw the baby's hands.

Piano hands with long thin fingers. I looked first at the picture and then at my hands. Then back to the picture again. It was a shock to realize that I was looking at a picture of myself as a baby. I'm not sure I had ever seen one.

My start in life was a bit shaky, and my parents probably didn't have a camera until later. But there I was, a baby girl looking up at my grown up self.

We regarded each other, the baby and I, and then each returned to her own part in the story of my life.

Me at about two years old

Three years old?
Me in kindergarten
Me, playing the piano at church.
putting those piano hands to work

1 comment:

  1. WhooHoo! Happy Birthday to you!!! I, too, and many others of us are so thankful for your birth! WhooHoo! Happy Birthday to you!!! Much affection, JJH