Yesterday was a blessing. I had the opportunity to go through old photographs that my grandmother had taken. She loved taking pictures, and always had a camera with her. I stumbled upon a book she had made me in high school. It had pictures of me from infancy to eighteen years old. I then came across pictures before my time. Pictures that seemed to go in a backward chronological order. I saw wedding pictures of my parents, aunts and uncles, most of which I had seen at one point or another. It slowly turned to pictures of my mother and her siblings growing up. Their graduations, high school dances and silly family dinners. It then transitioned to pictures of them as children; huddled in the car, wrestling in the living room, or playing outside. I stopped to look closely at a few, but for the most part just breezed through these like I was counting a deck of cards.
It was then that I reached pictures of my grandmother around my age. I came to a complete halt. I had never seen any of these photographs before. This woman who I had grown to know and love as my old grandmother, was suddenly shown to me in a completely new form. She was young and beautiful. She was silly and carefree. She was amazingly photogenic, especially for a time period that you did not have any idea what kind of quality photo you would get.
When I look at these pictures I think of how vastly different life is now. I have no idea what camera she used for these pictures, but I do know it wasn’t the iPhone 7. Our outfits tend to differ, and yet I am completely in love with her style. The hairstyles, the homes in the background all seem so old fashioned and almost foreign to me.
Although there is obviously a huge different between these photos and modern times, I did realize that maybe life hasn’t completely changed. My favorite part of this experience was getting to see my grandmother at the same exact point in her life as I currently am: a first time mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, and a daughter. She was married to my grandfather for over 50 years, but at this point had only been married for a handful of those years. She ended up being a mother of four, but at this point in her life only had one child. There were many pictures with her friends and sisters outside their home, or down by the lake. She looked so happy and so content with life.
I can’t say I know how she felt at this point in time, but how she looks seems to be how I feel today. In love, content and just plain happy.
Sometimes seventy years can feel so different, and yet if you look at what is really important in life it can feel exactly the same.