The power of the fairy tale is that it never ceases to be relevant because it allows each new generation of readers and tellers to reshape it into the discursive space that they need.
Monday, October 4, 2010
In my earliest memories of her, my father's mother is more a presence than a person. When seven of her eight children still lived close enough that Sunday dinners stretched the house to its limits, she was the bustling nurturing nucleus in the kitchen, felt more than seen by the pack of preschool cousins, or at least by me.
My memories of her face begin later, when my parents divorced, when, family by family, we left Long Island in the eighties, when my grandfather became sick, when he died. Mostly, I remember a serious face, not a sour face, but one full of the cares of a lifetime. But her smile was a transformative power. When she smiled and laughed, her joy bubbled up and sparkled in her eyes, and I knew that she was present with me.
When I look at her smile in this picture, I remember her other smiles, too. When I look in the mirror, I see the faint outlines of her cheeks on my face and the beginning of wrinkles and creases in the same places she had them. I only hope that when I carry the cares of a lifetime with me, my smile still sparkles with joy and etches itself into the memories of my grandchildren to have when I am gone.
|Rita Sabina is in the back on the left. This picture was taken as my mother, sister and I were leaving Florida and my Aunt Jane and Uncle John were arriving to visit my grandparents.|