Tuesday, April 10, 2012

J- Dear John,

I have a photograph of you hanging in my hallway. It is from around 1900 when you were about 25 years of age. You look so dapper with your handlebar mustache and your gentle eyes. (My brother has those same eyes.)

Oh how you fascinate me! My grandfather. My mother's father. You died when she was twelve.She often spoke about how much you loved her. She worshiped you as many young daughters worship their dads.

 I  have one of your last gifts to her - a beautiful Snow White doll. She treasured it. And so do I. I have passed it on to my daughter, your great granddaughter, Emily.

You are a mystery to us. Only one generation removed, yet we barely know anything about you. Mom didn't really talk much about herself anyway, and when asked, confessed that she really didn't know much about your life. Curious.

Here's what we do know:
You were 23 years older than Grandma.
You had been married (and then divorced) before.
You were gassed in World War I and it affected your health for the rest of your life.
You owned a watch repair shop... (I think. Mom wasn't quite sure about that. She once mentioned that she thought maybe you did something secretive for the government. )
When you died, Grandma took in other people's laundry to make enough money to raise your 4 girls.
You left a trust fund that allowed my mom to go to college.

That's about it.
 I just realized that I have never seen a picture of you other than the one hanging in my hallway.
Curiouser and curiouser.

I wish I knew more.


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