Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Genes



That's my Aunt Gilda on the left with her baby brother, Michele, my father. I have no idea how old this photo is nor where it was taken, although it looks like late 1950s, an airport in the background and maybe a building in New York City? Anyone? I stumbled upon the photo while bumbling around trying to figure out how to get a photo on Instagram to the blog. It seems like the only thing one can do is provide a link to the photo itself. But I'm glad that I haven't figured it out, because this gem was sitting among hundreds of photos I scrolled through, so I just sat a while and thought about my Aunt Gilda who died much too soon when I was a little girl and how she gave me a copy of The Hobbit when I was seven years old and had made my First Holy Communion and how much I adored that book and have it still, the exact same one with an inscription in her beautiful, flowery script. I thought, too, about my father who looks much the same now as he did then, how one of the only times I saw him cry was the morning his beloved sister Gilda died, how he sat at the kitchen table his head bowed with tears dripping into his bowl of cereal while I stood frozen in the doorway. Then I thought about the grand-daughter of Gilda, my cousin Amanda, and the beautiful little baby girl she gave birth to last week who despite never knowing her will carry Aunt Gilda like an inscription. I thought about genes, about how much I resemble my father and maybe even Aunt Gilda and then there's Henry who is so startlingly ours.

16 comments:

  1. I have a childhood memory of my dad crying when he lost his brother, also much too soon. Of course genes have their own memories, passing on so much I wish they'd forget.

    Henry does look just like your dad.

    To get photos off instagram, try statigram on your computer. Or get an iphone, which will store your instagrams in the camera roll and automatically upload them to your computer when plugged into it. (Maybe other phones do this too, I wouldn't know).

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  2. What a neat photo. Nothing pedestrian about that pair of siblings; they're all sorts of gorgeous. Your dad's hair is back in style today. In fact, if the two of them were teleport to that same place right now, they'd prolly be totally en vogue.

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  3. yes, henry looks just like your dad, both of them so gorgeous in a sweet, non-cocky way, and you look so much like your aunt, both of you so beautiful, and the genes cannot be denied.

    another way to get your photo off of instagram is to share it to your twitter or pinterest account and then copy it to your desktop from there.

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  4. Brother and sister are both stunning, and your writing about them is stunning too. There's so often so much love in what you say. This blog is a fountain and I love coming here to drink, to rest, to renew my vision of family, friends, kids, the past, the present.

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  5. looks as if they're at a beach...volleyball net in the background. yes, it is stunning to see family resemblances through the generations. I have a nephew who looks just like his great great grandfather. I have a photo of my great grandmother in her teens and people tell me I look just like her. Weird, strange, wonderful.

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  6. The reference to the new baby carrying Gilda in her genes was so lovely. These photos are so powerfully evocative - I love looking through them from time to time and being instantly transported to another place.

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  7. You do look so much like Aunt Gilda! What a poetic tribute. Isn't is something when dads cry?

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  8. So great - thank you for sharing it.

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  9. So beautiful, cousin. Thank you for sharing it. Having never met my grandmother, I am always interested in hearing stories about her. Could the photo have been taken near the Great Lawn in Central Park, behind the Met? The structure in the background could be the Obelisk in the park and that area has quite a few ball fields similar to the one behind them.

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  10. It's the way Henry holds himself and his smile that really remind me of your Dad. I agree that you look at lot like your Aunt Gilda. You both exude solidity and sweetness, too.

    My son is a "dead ringer" for my maternal grandfather. My mom sent me grandpa's high school graduation photograph (4 students total, the teacher in the middle). My son posted it as his profile picture on FB and his contemporaries asked where he got that old-timey picture taken.

    Thanks for sharing it with us. x0 N2

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  11. That photo is a great find. I definitely see the family resemblance!

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  12. Elizabeth,

    My mother Gilda would have loved this blog, thank you. Your cousin, Joanne

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  13. You look very much like your aunt!

    I'm all weepy now, imagining your father's tears. how heartbreaking...

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  14. God, I LOVE old photos. Amazing. You do look like your aunt! I remember my childhood copy of the hobbit too (gosh, i wonder where that is now?).

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