"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Grandfather to Granddaughter

There is this photograph from the 1880’s.  A simple photo really; a grandfather is reading to his granddaughter.  

What we can surmise:
     The grandfather died not many years after the photo was taken.
     The granddaughter appears to be 10 perhaps.  She’s been dead for
     many decades now.
     It’s very possible that no one now exists who could still identify grandfather and granddaughter.  Their lives extinguished, their names forgotten, only the image of them remains.

It is a moving picture.  I’m not a grandfather; yet.  But I could picture myself reading to my grandchild hoping to share something precious to someone precious.  The little girl in the picture is, of course, not paying attention.  Far more interesting to her was the process of the photograph.  But Grandpa carried on as Grandpa’s should.  His responsibility was to read to his granddaughter.  She is more important to him than the set-up of a photograph.  He knew what was truly important – reading to his granddaughter.  

One hopes the granddaughter grew up having access to the photograph.  One hopes she came to cherish it as she matured and aged.    One hopes the picture accurately reflects the reality of the relationship; Grandfather giving a pure gift to his beloved granddaughter.  And I hope she, in her adult years, loved her grandfather in return.  JB

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