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This photo was taken, I think, in the early 1950’s. These are my maternal grandparents enjoying a family BBQ in the early days of their marriage. This is not the orginal photo, but a slighly modified copy. The orginal shows tables, trees, and other family members enjoying the day. I liked the candid casualness in my grandparents, so I cropped and framed the photo this way.

I especially like this photo of my grandmother. My grandfather looks much like I remember him (he died when I was 14), but I don’t think I ever saw this soft, nearly carefree version of my grandmother. Early on in her marriage, she lost her first child to miscariage, and then went on to have four more children. By the time her fourth child was born, she had been diagnosed with rheumatiod arthritis and bipolar disorder. She worked as a nurse during the night shift during most of her children’s childhood. She would arrive home in time to see them off to school, sleep, be awake in time to welcome them home before going back to work. As I knew her in my teenage and early adult years, she was still overcome with the greif of losing her husband shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary.

Her was not, I don’t think, an easy life, but I am convinced it was not an unhappy life. And, while I may have known and remember her best during the more painful, difficult moments of her life, this picture remindes me that her life was filled with joyful, everyday moments, not unlike mine.

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Did you catch the way my granddaddy is looking at her? Love is in the air here!

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Every Wednesday, Amanda posts retro black and white photos and invites others to post their own as well. Hop over to check them out!

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