When I’m the girl in the photograph

When I'm the girl in the photograph
When I'm the girl in the photograph

January, 1922, a young dutch girl is at school in Zaventem, Belgium. She writes the date carefully, each word a work of art.

96 years later I hold it in my hands. I trace the letters she wrote; my great-grandmother.

She started writing it just after a world war, not knowing it would only be the first. Before she had children, before those children grew up.

Did she make ever make the fancy recipes she carefully wrote down, for visitors or in-laws?

Sometimes I think of life back then in black and white, or at least in the faded colors of the photographs I find.

But the sun shone just as brightly, and the grass was just as green.

Life seemed to stretch out just as endlessly for her. After she went back home and put her simple¬†brown notebook with its elaborate curly writing on a shelf,¬† she couldn’t have known that almost a century later it would find itself back in Belgium close to the place where it received its first word.

Someday I’ll be the girl in the old fashioned photograph. And although it won’t be black and white it will seem just as far away.

What seems like a lifetime now, and what is a lifetime, turns out to be so short.

My life on earth will be over and only the stories will remain.
I’m still in the story right now. I don’t know if I’m nearing the middle or the end.

Blink, and it will be over.
Feel, and it seems like forever, and like the only thing that matters.

I see my children smiling and look at the black and white pictures of little girls who fell and scraped their knees, grew up and had little girls of their own.

Lives, linked by blood and separated by time.
Smiles. All smiles look the same.

I smile. Someday, someone will wonder who I was.

And if I could, I would tell them that I smiled. I smiled and I laughed and cried and hugged by babies close. I lived and I wondered who I was and who I was supposed to be and every time, my Heavenly Father reminded me that all that matters is that I be His.

When I'm the girl in the photograph

When I'm the girl in the photograph

When I'm the girl in the photograph


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