i wish i could meet you there

I look at all these photos, and I wonder who you all are. I only know some versions of you, some stories, but in the instant the photo was taken, I have no idea who you were.

I may or may not know you, but I do love you. I love you for what you’ve been through. I accept your flaws, your mistakes. I’d like to know your values but also your dreams. Some photos are prettier than their stories. Sometimes, the backs of photos tell stories, back-stories if you will. Some are empty. Do I know you? Should I?

I promise to keep your memories alive for as long as I can. I’ll try to protect your story, and I won’t forget where I’m from.
When I was younger, I used to look at these photos and I couldn’t really understand what your life was like. Today, I’m older than you were on some of these pictures.
I feel I can relate to you and imagine what your thoughts might have been.
I look at you and I want to reassure you that I’ll try my best to alleviate the trauma you’ve been through via love, patience and empathy.

What was it like to be you? What started your pain? I may or may not succeed, but that’s not the goal, the goal is to try. All of you, without even knowing it, made me the way I am. If I could, I’d hold you. It’s almost close enough. The story doesn’t end but it stops here – here I am at my daughter’s actual age and I finally understand what it feels to carry a part of yourself. I wish I could have met you there – but at least you’re never far.

Photos from my personal family’s archives. The first picture has been taken in 1933, my grandma was 2 years old on the photo. The last picture was photographed in 1992 (and not 2002 as written by my other grandma), I was also 2 years old.