I did not spend much time with her. I wish I had. I wanted to tell her about my granddaughters back in the states and ask about her life in China. She looks as if she is about my age, which means that she probably lived through the Cultural Revolution. I wanted to find out what she was doing when I was capturing fireflies in the Mason jar and sitting on the crank ice-cream maker … the burlap bag covering the cold…ever so cold ice…while we awaited the sweet most delicious treat in all the world…….. Did she have that? Was there a time when she sat with her grandfather in eager anticipation of that fabulous reward? In those few moments, we shared an unspoken joy…a love of our grandchildren. IMG_9284

8 thoughts on “Grandmothers

  1. I know, the stories my husband’s mother will tell sometimes out of nowhere. These are people who knew hunger and terror and yet continue… It shaped them and their children and perhaps their grandchildren.

    • I longed to spend time with the older people when I was in China, but never had the opportunity. I got to know the younger teachers (under 40) who spoke of their parents briefly. From the windows of the van taking us to work each day, I watched them playing cards or Mahjong on the street and wanted to stay with them, let them get comfortable with me, let me take their pictures. I wanted to hear their stories. Of course, my time was tightly regulated by the job and when I did have a few minutes to venture out, they were, understandably closed.

      I hope that you are writing your mother-in-law’s stories.

      • I will – eventually – they come in pieces – more half shades/memories or habits that don’t quite make sense in the today that exists. She reminds me of my grandmother in many ways – her thrift especially – a generation behind those who lived through the depression in the US. The hard part is actually trying to listen and accept though when it is so foreign from what I am used to. I have time though…

  2. Wonderful capture. I hope you get to go back and talk with some of the older people. You’re right that it would be interesting to hear their stories.

I'd love to hear what you think.

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