Faces from the past

The old photographs are dark.

  The young to middle aged people

  staring out of them are my grandparents

  and great grandparents.

 

Their faces haunt my sleep, as if they

  are telling me something of themselves

  that I am not getting. 

 

My mother’s grandmother wearing a

  babushka, heavy apron over what was

  probably her best skirt, durable black

  boots.  I know she lived to be

  ninety-four years of age in Slovakia.

 

Her daughter, my grandmother, also lived

  to within a few months of that same age.

 

Grandma was making a new life for herself,

  her siblings in this country.  The considerable

  improvement in quality of life was evident

  in her fashionable flapper days dress, which

  she made herself, the finery of appearance for

  her husband and their children.  She was an

  impeccable seamstress; did flawless crocheting.

 

What homage can I do, I wonder as I stare back

  at them in their frames on a coffee table.

 

After sorting through twenty boxes of old stuff from his dad’s home, my cousin Ed shipped me two boxes of photos to share with our cousins.  I called Ed to thank him for these treasures, most of which I had never seen before and some of the people in the photos neither of us could identify.  I am hoping our one elder cousin may be able to help if I see him at Christmas.  I am easily lost in wonder as I take in the details of their dress, the expressions on their faces, and consider all the time that has gone by since they were young.

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