|My grandmother and my mother - circa 1949 taken in Haliburton, Ontario|
I love this photograph of my grandmother and my mother taken when my mother was 20-21, and given that my mother is wearing shorts, I'm going to say that this was taken at the time of her birthday. My grandmother died in 1953 and I regret that there was never the opportunity for us to have a 3 generation photograph taken. With the advent of technology I know I could super impose myself in a photograph with them, but it just wouldn't be the same.
I often wish and regret that I did not know this grandmother (both of my grandmothers died in the same year 9 months apart) and she has been both a fascination and an obsession with me since childhood. That could be because my mother spoke of her so often in the effort to keep her alive for my sister and for me, but also for herself.
I believe I have had a strong connection with my grandmother in our personalities our life histories and our physical features. I've shared the same qualities and characteristics with my mother and as I age, I see those similarities played out more and more and more...
I look in the mirror these days and I see my mother as she was when she was the age I am now. At the age I am now, my grandmother had 6 years left of her life before she died of breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver.
I have her grey hair (though I do not wear it in this fashion and I wonder just how long her hair was all plaited and pinned to the top of her head). I notice that my skin has changed (a lot) and because of menopause I am developing that "sag" at the chin. I remember that in my mother and I imagine that she inherited that from her mother.
I wonder how my sister would look if she had lived beyond 39. "Who" would I see of her in photographs from the past.
These women of mine, they had short lives...one left at 39, one left at 47 (my paternal grandmother) one left at 61, the other at 68. My "plan" is to keep going and see my 60s, 70s, and even my 80s. None of us know what lies ahead so it's a goal and one that I hope to achieve. Sadly, once I've reached my 70s, I'll have no blueprint to look back on to see how I compare. I will be the unique woman in this family who continues to move forward. I see that as a challenge. And a gift.