As I mentioned in my last post, my aunt passed away recently, leaving behind a houseful of belongings and family history. This weekend, I went over to the house and looked through a few boxes of really old family photos and….oh my.
It was fascinating.
Bear in mind that my Grampa was born in 1885 and died when he was almost 106. And I never met my Grandma. So I knew nothing of their relationship beyond the fact that they had six children, including my father.
It turns out that Grandma was a looker — and my Grampa was a smitten kitten. Below he has his hand on her shoulder, the back of the photo reads “in Forest Park before married.”
My Grampa. It was as surprising to see him so youthful as it was to think of him as a romantic. Then it occurred to me that my perspective of Grampa was really one-dimensional. In my mind, I see the soft-spoken, Pooh-bellied, gentle soul who smelled of Old Spice, napped sitting up, and loved me unconditionally. It never occurred to me to think of him as a professional, a father, or a husband, let alone a lovestruck teenager.
Then there’s Grandma. I’d really only seen one or two photos of her, so I basically saw her as Grampa’s elderly wife. I had no idea what she was like as an adult, let alone a beautiful young girl. What I’ve learned is that she was sassy and lovely, had lots of friends, and they all enjoyed posing for the camera. And my Grampa loved her.
Then I found one of the biggest prizes of all.
Years ago, I’d blogged about a little chapel that my Grampa made and Grandma bought the little choir members. The set is close to 100 years old.
And it now belongs to me.
As if the existing story of a handmade treasure wasn’t special enough, I discovered that there is more to the story of this little chapel.
Look what I found in the photo box.
The little chapel that my Grampa made was based on their actual church. The back of the photo says that it was their first church and my Grampa would gather kids from the neighborhood and take them to church.
My treasure just became even more priceless. I’ve spent my entire life loving that chapel and had no idea there was an entire other dimension that would make me love it even more.
These are just a few of the scenes I discovered in the treasure trove of photos in the house. So many stories. So much history. So much wow.