Gigi didn’t have her teeth in and it startled me. She’s always been a not-a-hair-out-of-place gal from my perspective — serious and appropriate.
We tried to talk about my pictures from our trip this summer, but she struggled find the words. I think I misunderstood and supplied the wrong ones. She gave up. She was perfectly content to lean forward and watch D play a search and find game on my mother’s iPad.
Even if the no teeth look was unusual to me, her face watching D was familiar to me. She is a good student. A life-long learner. She wanted to know what he was doing.
I watched them and tried to reconcile this picture with the woman I saw before me.
My father, apparently, was once a baby. There he is with Gigi and my grandfather who died before I was born. Such a shame. Not really fair to anyone.
Gigi is so young in this picture. I am twice as old as she was then. Is that my grandfather’s fraternity pin she sporting? Could they be so young she still thought that was important? Look at how she has just pulled her hands away from Baby Dad. Or maybe she is hovering them near. Menfolk aren’t really to be trusted with young babies.
There is another photo from this collection where there is a row of flowers in her hair where that red comb is. My serious, career-focused grandmother with a row of flowers in her hair. I couldn’t stop looking at them.
I started to cry.
Two ends of a life with my reality somewhere in the middle. There is so much about her I don’t know.
As D played, I spotted a box of French vocabulary words with pictures. I started sorting through them to show D that some words in English and French are similar and he probably already understood some French. I would find a few and lay them next to him while he worked on the game on the iPad. Every couple of minutes he would take a break and go through them. He did great.
I don’t think Gigi could hear him, but she could see me flip through them and nod and smile.
She seemed satisfied.