Thursday, January 12, 2012

Black & White

I spent about an hour and a half tonight looking at old pictures one of my mom's cousins scanned and posted online for the family. Most of the people in the pictures aren't identified and I guess that's just because nobody really thought it was all that important for names to be written on the back.

Makes me wonder about our own pictures. Years from now, will my family be flipping through photos on their 19th generation IPads wondering who the heck that is holding grandma's legs in the air while she's doing a keg stand. Or why there are so many pictures of two orange and white cats that look like the same cat, but aren't? And who is that standing around the table playing beer pong during New Year's Eve celebration 2011?

Talk about motivation to go back and label all of my pictures with at least dates and places.

You know, in my spare time.

The best part of looking at all of those old pictures though was seeing the black and white images of my grandparents, great-grandparents and other relatives in their younger days. And realizing that no matter how much I deny it, there is definitely some of that DNA in this girl. I especially love the pictures of my pappy. Bernard W. Miller, Sr.

He passed away when I was about 7-1/2. My sister was three days old and my mom was still recovering when he lost his battle with a combination of heart disease and cancer. In his eyes, I could do no wrong. We played Uno together on the ottoman and if I wanted an extra piece of molasses bread (King syrup, to be exact) well then so be it. Almost 29 years later, I still miss him. A lot. The only thing that nearly brought me to tears on my wedding day was thinking about him and how much I wished he was there.

And my grandmother, Verna Miller. She's still alive, but the woman you see now isn't really her. My grandmother is goofy and fun with a treasure trove of silly, sometimes off color jokes (ask me about the bear in a bar in Billings gem). She makes a mean baked macaroni and cheese (my mom and my aunt's come close) and kept her snacks in the oven for easy access. My grandmother now lives in an assisted living facility. Dementia has stolen her recent memories. She wasn't sure who the people were in the copy of my wedding picture my mom took her. Thankfully though, she still has her longer, older memories. When I think of my grandmother, I think of her like this (that's my great-grandma, Mamie behind her):

The pictures my mom's cousin posted were from a big shoebox full of pictures that were actually a mix of my grandmother's and great-grandmother's. The family divided up the pictures during the family Christmas party that we missed due to other commitments. Luckily my sister and mom grabbed some pictures for me, and I'm glad they did because I can't wait to put them in a frame and hang them on my wall just to show the long line of goofiness I come from.

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