I’m in Texas this week visiting my mom’s side of the family. A file was pulled out full of photos and stories and I fell in love with this one. I’ve poured over papers, snippets of information and names of people I’d never heard. I found out that our family has a coat of arms- “Be Faithful” is our motto. Above is my Great-Grandfather and Great-Grandmother, Gus and Lola. He was Scottish and she was a 1/2 Cherokee Indian and the younger sister of a powerful Chief.
I wonder about them. She is beautiful, and I see my sister a bit in her face. I don’t know his face at all. I love seeing this photo of them, taken in the late 1800’s about the time they were married. The crazy thing to me is that I was so close to my Great-Grandmother on my Grandmother’s side and that Gus and Lola, who are my Grandfather’s parents, died in the mid 1930’s.
Knowing your family helps you understand yourself a bit better. Seeing these strangers who are close to me by blood but strangers is like a delightful puzzle I want to figure out.
I want to know if they experienced prejudice. How they fell in love. I want to know why they moved from Georgia to Texas.
My Grandfather was their youngest child, their 12th. They both died while he was still young. They experienced a lot of loss and tragedy. Perhaps that’s why I love this photo so much, they were still so young, beautiful and hopeful. Even with their standard straight, non-smiling faces, I see a lot.
I see there is so much life in her eyes and that she is probably trying to listen to the photographer while he is cutting up and trying to make her smile. He looks proud and almost seems to be holding her, his arm out of the picture. Gus was proud of Lola. Also, he’s totally a snazzy dresser! Check out that collar and suit!
I want to know if I‘m like either of them. Perhaps the sadness of it all is that I won’t ever know. In the next few days I’ll be visiting my Grandparents. I want to ask them all the questions that I know I’ll regret if I don’t ask.
What about you? Are you interested in your family’s history? Are you related to anyone cool or interesting? What things do you need to ask your parents or grandparents before it’s too late?