This picture made me cry on Saturday:
It's of my Dad's mom, Alice Mae (little girl on the left) and her siblings. Alice died when my Dad was about 10 years old. She had rheumatic fever as a child and it left her with a heart defect. She died in her sleep and the morning my Grandpa discovered her he still got his three sons dressed and sent them to school.
I only learned these things several months ago.
See, we never talk about Alice. My Grandpa remarried when my Dad was still a kid. I'm not sure if we don't talk about Alice because it upsets my Grandma or because it's too painful. But recently, I've started really wanting to know.
In this picture of Alice I see my nose. And I want to know, what else did she give me?
I can see other parts of myself in other family members. My cautiousness from my mom's mom, my curiosity and love of reading from my mom, my rational thinking and quick temper from my dad.
What did Alice give me? Maybe my overdeveloped sense of justice? Or my laugh? Or my ghetto booty?
And even beyond what I got from my family, what I hope to become. My parents' forgiveness, my Granddaddy's hospitality and congeniality, my Granny's generosity, and my Grandpa's quiet kindness inspire me to become a better person. What would Alice have shown me?
I want to know. I want to know what kind of antics she pulled as a child. I want to know how she fell in love with my Grandpa and what it was like to have three sons in a cold, small North Dakota town. I want to know if her death was a surprise or expected. I want to know how my Grandpa managed to take care of his sons while mourning his wife. I want to know how my dad felt about his stepmother from the beginning and how they became a family.
It's my story too. And I want to know.