Monday, January 18, 2010

Living vs. Hiding

This is my grandfather. He died when my father was 11. He became an icon of sorts, and this photo hangs in the home of every aunt, uncle and cousin. We like to believe we inherited his strength, his grace. I spent hours gazing at this photo imagining what it would be like to sit on his knee, wondering whether he would exude the sternness of his generation or the warmth his eyes imply.

Does your family have an icon?

"Sometimes we lose chances and they are gone forever," a friend commented on my last post. As my grandfather never knew he would never know me, I will never know when something will be nevermore until it so becomes. After all, if I'm not mistaken, this is life's key: to do as I would were this my very last day, or your very last day.

Has fear censored your life's story? What would you have done were you not afraid?


My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

"sometimes we lose chances and they are gone forever"...those are powerful words...indeed..

enjoyed my visit here today..

beautiful music

more later


The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

There is always something about men in uniform! What a very handsome man!
My grandmother is the icon in our family. She is like "The Godmother".

Speaking of powerful about this one? -
"I will never know when something will be nevermore until it so becomes."

You know there's a part of me that has always wanted to become a philantropist. It's not that I was or am afraid of using resources. It's the lack thereof.

Chessa! said...

I don't think that my family has any one icon. The history of my family from both my mom's and dad's side is so rich...I am a first generation American - my father is mostly Italian but a mix of several other backgrounds from Argentina and my mother is a Cuban refugee and she is half-Lebanese. I am so fascinated by the stories that come from both sides of my family and feel lucky to be able to hear them and remember them to pass down to my children.

ps--thank you so much for stopping by to visit and comment on my post about helping Haiti. I'm having an auction of a print to benefit the charity of the winner's choice. the bidding starts at just $10. I hope you will stop by:)

James Owens said...

You are lucky to have this icon, this link to the past and to all the other possible, could-have-been worlds that rustle around our lives like autumn leaves when the wind blows at night....

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

A beautiful and powerful post. Fear has censored much of my life's story. Sadly.

onesilentwinter said...

my grandmother, she is our family icon-for my brother and sister feel the same way. a pillar of strength and feminity. first woman to join the french army, she packed her bags minutes after her on true love, her husband came home saying he was to marry another... she spoke 10 languages, she sang so sweetly and baked things that would have people line up around the corner for. she gave me words i live by
" si dieu veut" i take it as if it is meant to be it will be.

thank you for allowing me to remember her here.

kendalee said...

Lovely thought-provoking post! And your grandfather does have kind eyes. My maternal grandmother is something of a family icon - a strong, independent and compassionate woman whose voice still often rings in my head today and guides me (even though she has not been with us for 15 years). Her love and belief in us, and her advice to "be your own yardstick" have been fundamentally formative for many of my family members I'd say.

As for censoring my life's story with fear... I'd say, not until relatively recently. But I'm learning to trust again that I know what's right for me, so hopefully that'll change :)

Claire said...

this reminds me of a post i did last year about my own heritage.

reading your words makes me want to get to know you better. in person, over tea. or on a beach in cape cod ; )

i believe firmly in generational attributes being passed down. i feel a kinship to my gran almost stronger than to my own parents.

yes, his strength is very visible in you sheila. very.

what would i do... i would love purely. as i do this day. as you, with a few precious others, have taught me to.

Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

My Daddy was my hero and it is so sad is that he and my children never got to know one another. I wish I could race back in time and let the very special people in my life know how much they mean to me... before it was too late.

It may be fear, or perhaps just allowing myself to get caught up in the mundane everyday tasks, that has held me back from doing what is really important. Perhaps I need to prioritize.