... a first grandchild. That was me. A first grandchild on both sides of the family. So it was a big deal - as it is with every first grandchild. The picture shows 4 generations of my mom's family. Me on my mom's lap, her father on the left and his mother on the right.
Mom was a beautiful woman. Dad always said she was beautiful as a young woman. In the pictures and movies I have seen of her from that time I think she resembles Ingre Berman.
And Dad was a handsome young man. Dark with a boyish look to him. I can definitely see his charm and attraction in this picture. I am sure they made a beautiful couple. Of course in this picture my mom was 17 1/2 years old and dad was 26. World War II was still going on. She looked older than 17. The age difference seems a bit large from our perspective now - maybe not so much then. And she appears to have a drink in her hand. Guess the age restriction for alcohol consumption was started much later. I know mom graduated from high school at 16 as a result of skipping 2 grade levels and was working in Manhattan when she met my dad.
I was born just before their first Anniversary. I didn't hear much about their first years together. There aren't that many pictures either. Mom's marriage to dad was difficult. Details are not important now, but during that time her choices were limited. She was married for life, and her family and religion would permit no other choice.
Don't get me wrong! Both my parents were wonderful people in their own ways. They both loved me - the few pictures I have show that clearly. But dad had problems, and it made living with him harder and harder as the years past. From the point when my own memories are established, I don't remember them ever "happy". And yet, I know they loved each other ... even when things were very bad. Before my dad died in 1970, mom was the one holding the family together. She was the one who was our constant! And yet, while I sat with her in the funeral home waiting to pick out a casket for my dad, I remember her clearly saying ... "How will I do without him? Do you think he knew that I loved him?"
My mom's life was never easy those 24 years she was married, but she made a commitment. Knowing how she lived, struggled and sacrificed, I am not sure I could have made the same choice.
But these pictures show hope and possibilities. I believe it shows love. It is how most unions begin.
It is how my story began.