Saturday, May 9, 2009

Black & White

Some say a picture tells a thousand words.

Something about this picture brings a smile to my face. A tear to my eye. The female's time appears happy. Care free. Though her history during this time was filled with knuckles. Palms. Belligerence. Tongue to a swelled lip. Tasting blood. Hurt.

The female brought two daughters into the world during her first six years of marriage. My aunt and mother. They, like the female, my grandmother, would be scarred by these times. But strenghtened by the world in which they survived.

They don't produce women like my grandmother, aunt or mother anymore.

Each took on years of abuse from a man I never knew. My real grandfather. A man I knew only through cards on select holidays. Birthdays. Stories told during car rides for christmas shopping. Dinners with family. A man I was forbidden to acknowledge.

The man my grandmother remarried was the man I grew up calling grandpa. He owned a 100 acre farm. They sired another child. Another aunt. He raised my mother. And aunt. Along with his newborn. Raised them as his own. They lived a simple life. Gathered eggs from the barn. Fed the ducks. Chickens. Rabbits. Watched hounds being born. Triained. Hunted. Sold.

The farm was my world. Just as it was my aunt's. My mothers. A world I miss. It's taken nearly seventeen years to use all that I saw. Lived. Felt and remember. My stories are as black and white as the smile on my grandmother's face. But violent and real like the memories they shared with me.


  1. the question is, would you have ever wanted to meet your real grandfather? or were you satisfied with the stories?

  2. I met him enough times to fill five fingers on either hand. He was a violent man from world war II. Told alot of horroric tales on his death bed. I wrote a short The Old Mechanic, about one of my encounters with him to a gun and knife came so close to publication in several journals, but no one would take the chance....

  3. My father could tell similar stories, about the woman folk on his side of the family.

    I never really spoke about it with my aunts, but there are some things that don't go away.