Check out what I got in the mail from my Grandpa George today.
That’s me front and center, with Paddington and a fake cigarette. Yup. My sister Jennifer is sitting on our Uncle Gregg’s knee, she’s wearing my old green dress. I’m related by blood to most of these people, by marriage to the rest. My favorite thing about this picture (aside from me smoking, of course) is how my Mom (in the light blue shirt) is trying to keep my Grandma Hilloah from elbowing her. Ah, grandma… such a prankster. And so stylish in her orange suit, which coordinates with her husband’s tweedy orange sweater (that’s Grandpa George in the upper left). I don’t remember much about Grandma Hilloah; she developed Alzheimer’s when I was still a kid so most of my memories are skewed – I didn’t fully understand why Grandma wanted the last biscuit badly enough to try and stab my hand with a fork.
Grandpa George is my last remaining grandparent; I haven’t seen him since I was ten or twelve, and only recently got back in touch with him via mail. He and mom had some kind of serious falling out, and us kids were cut out of the loop by default. I don’t know who’s to blame for the break, but I’m sad about all the lost years. Now we’re trying to build a new bridge, one letter and photograph at a time.