I first see pride when I see this mama looking at her son.
It feels soulful to me ~ deep and honoring, yet sad with longing ~ but I think that is me, reading my own feelings into the image.
As I lie next to my own 6 year old little boy on his bed, I feel the longing in its rawest form. Because that baby in the photo is my own father as a baby. His mama, my dear grandma, is holding him, delighting in him. That little boy is so young, so fresh, so full of promise and possibility.
And now he’s gone. 49 or so years from when that photo was taken he turned 50 years old, then shortly after, he was gone. My daddy has been gone almost 14 years now. And looking at this photo, then seeing my son who is 6 years old, time seems to tingle.
It’s as if the past uses old photographs to slap current time in the face saying “wake up!”
My grandma smiled at her own son when he was six, laid next to him on the bed (which for them was folded blankets atop metal bed springs) and most likely had no vision of him being 50 years old.
My grandma is actually sleeping in my house this weekend, as we speak, as I write this (May 18, 2012). She is 89 and as amazing as ever. She is my father’s mother, and she was with me and my dad and my sister when my dad suddenly passed away almost 14 years ago, with his hand in mine. That blows my mind. 14 years.
And earlier tonite, before she turned in, I sat with my grandma looking at additional photos of my daddy when he was the age my sons are now ~ and it did something strange to my heart. I realize that time does indeed march on, doesn’t it? I look at those photos and think about the future that was in front of him, as he was so so young and innocent.
Time, time, time ~ it is what we can’t get back… and time is really all that our kids want, isn’t it? In truth, it is REALLY all our grandmothers want from us as well.
Let’s spend it wisely, shall we? Let’s look to our children and our grandparents (and parents) with delight, because no matter their age, they are full of promise and possibility. Until the day they are gone.
love, love, love ~ Katie
Side Note: When I first saw the photo above, I was stabbed with a sudden urge to create a painting inspired by it. A few minutes with that photo and stories flooded me, along with inspiration. Stay tuned, I will create it, I promise.