In this photo I see every woman in my family. I see the Grandma of old photos and the Grandma of my childhood who later shrank and faded away under the influence of Parkinson's.
I see my mother and her sisters. My cousin. Great aunts.
I don't see myself, but I think that I will some day. It seems, or at least I've observed, that as the women in our family get older, we begin to resemble Grandma Helen and her side of the family.
My mom and I joke that I'm already just like mom, so I might as well work on being Grandma. And, I'll certainly never be just like Grandma- none of us could be. But we have so many wonderful characteristics which we can aspire to emulate, so many facets of her that we could be.
I find it comforting to have family that I so love and admire. A history to learn and add to in my own way. Something meaningful to pass to my own daughter as I watch her make her own way and add her own story to the family.