Stories of my life previously unknown to me have been emerging during this season of retreat at home. My Iowa cousin sent pictures from younger days visiting the farmlands where my dad’s family lived. I could recognize myself in the photos, but had little memory of being there at ages 6 and maybe 10, and driving a horse-drawn cart (see previous blog, “Two cousins…”).
Then it came to my attention via a short blurb on a newscast that a man I had spent time with during my college days had passed away of a heart attack. He actually lived not too far away and I had tried to make contact over the years but had been unsuccessful, he being quite a recluse. A very different memory.
And I’ve just received the pictures from my other cousin on my mom’s side of the family. She mistakenly sent the package to my old address. I was quite fortunately contacted by the person living there now and he promised to re-mail the package. Days went by, weeks. He had a family emergency, but was finally able to send it. He refused any payment for his kind gesture and only asked that I pay it forward. A blessing in itself.
It was an odd assortment including my baby announcement, pics of me, my dad mowing the lawn, my grandparents and their home in Florida, and these tiny leather baby shoes. I found myself looking down at my feet and wondering if these were really the same feet.
However, the prize tiny snapshot was my mom pregnant with me, a photo I had never seen before. As my cousin noted, it was undoubtedly the first picture of me ever taken. And this much delayed package showed up on my dear mom’s birthday, a message from heaven.
I am attempting to assemble these puzzle pieces of my life and now I’ve gone all the way back to the beginning. May grace be clearing the way for deeper understanding as spring arrives and we emerge into a brand new landscape.