My mom and dad, who live a couple of states away, came to visit this weekend. I really enjoyed spending time with them and my brother and his family, who also live here in St. Louis. I have a lively, vocal, animated family, so it as a fun weekend--lots of spirited conversations, lots of eating (LOTS of eating!), and lots of poking around town with no real purpose except to spend time together.
My favorite part of the weekend was on the last evening. My mom, myself, my sister-in-law Kim and my 12-year old niece Nora all ended up sprawled across my bed and my mother started talking about her childhood, and her mother in particular. They weren't all happy stories--my mother grew up very poor and endured many hardships in her early life. Still, it made me sad and a little panicked to think that when she is gone, these stories--this family history--will go with her.
My mom's grade school picture, from the local newspaper. This was a very rural area. Grades 1-8 and there are only 27 kids. My mom is the first picture, second row. Some of her stepbrothers (there were twelve kids in her family all together) are in the picture as well: their names handwritten beside their photos.
My mother in high school:
My mom and me when I was very little. I love this picture:
My mom and dad now:
I was also glad that Nora got to hear them. Got to learn a little more about her Grandma, whom she only sees a few times a year. Perhaps some of those stories will resonate with her, as they do with me, and live on for another generation or two.