PHOTOGRAPH

The browning album crackled from the weight of the fading pictures as mygrandchildren turned the page of the wonderland that used to be.  Alayna said to Pete, “That used to be Grandma.”

“No, Alayna, you’re wrong,” I thought. “That girl was never me.  I wore her clothes and combed her hair, but she never cuddled my babies, pursued a career, or licked the seal of an envelope containing a final payment. She never climbed my mountains, nor stumbled in my valleys.  She had never faced my temptations, nor experienced my victories.  That girl was never grandma, but I was once that girl.”

Remembering the incident leaves me thinking about why I blog.  One of the reasons I want to become a blogger is because of the opportunity I have to get acquainted with young people.  (And at my age, even sixty is young people!)  I was raised at a time and in a community where there was almost no “generational” divide.  The generations did things together: family reunions, singing rallies, church dinners, baseball, ice skating.  Schools often had several ages and grades in the same room.  We even went places in the same car!  I miss that.  I love young people.  I have walked in their shoes.  I believe I have experiences which would interest them, and I know they have experiences I would like to know about.  Most honestly I can see and hear things so I know some things but I don’t understand the reasons why.  Maybe I can find out some whys by reading blogs.

A recent story.  I was talking to a little girl who I believe had taken a stick of gum and lied about it, but she denied it vehemently.  I told her of my experience when I was about her age.  I had taken a stick of gum out of my aunt’s sewing machine drawer.  As far as I know no one ever knew it, but it made me feel so guilty that I still remember it.  She still didn’t confess and maybe she didn’t take the gum.  But if she did I wanted her to understand I had been where she was.

Embarrassed?  I’ve been there.  Feel ugly?  I’ve been there.  Frantic with sorrow?  Up all night with sick babies?  Worried?  Tight budget?  Dejected in love?  Loved and been loved?  Scared to speak in public?  Need tires but no money?  I’ve been there.

Back to the photograph.  I was that girl.  I experienced what that girl experienced.  But I knew nothing of the things to come that would make me “me.”  Salty tears and delicious laughter, the birth of my child and the death of my mother, the dirge of night and the delight of dawn, the pain of aging and the hope of the eternal,  Yes, I was that little girl, but she was never me. And, my precious Alayna, I once walked in the shoes of a twenty-two year old, facing decisions that would determine the actions that would make me an eighty-one year old “me,” with a beautiful, delightful, intelligent, and loving grand-daughter whom I love very much, who someday will be her own “me”.  May you be blessed, now and forever.

(Lesson One, Blogging 101, Who Am I? and Why Blog?)

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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5 Responses to PHOTOGRAPH

  1. shoreacres says:

    We’re not so far apart in age (I’m 68) and we’re not at all far apart in experience. This was a lovely post, so beutifully written, and every word of it resonates with me. I especially miss the “togetherness” of “the old days” — when something as simple as a church supper of a block party was reason enough to be happy. Such an irony it is, that the technologies which were supposed to bring us closer together more often keep us isolated and apart.

  2. oneta hayes says:

    Yes, shoreacres, I have a love, hate/hate/hate relationship with technology. I loved it through air conditioning and heart surgery. I begudgingly caved in a bit when I realized phone was not going to fill my desire to keep up with grandkids so I went Face Book. Lasted about six months and they went to My Space, Instagram, twitter or whatever. I’m back to hate. But I’m ahead of them on this blogging bit. Got a couple head nods when they found out I could do this. (Well, at least I can do it well enough to impress them!)

  3. I love this, Oneta. Thanks once more for writing.

  4. vronlacroix says:

    You surely have a closet full, a life full, of stories to share. It’s so good that you do. Lovely post.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thank you and thanks for coming over. I signed up to follow so I can share in other posts as represented by your river lullaby. I don’t do much with pictures, but I like them.

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