It was a painful time, of course, because it meant separation from her own parents. Yet, my mother loved her grandparents—especially adored her maternal grandmother—and was full of stories about this independent business woman’s life and how she got to tag along during her grandmother’s daily routine as owner and manager of her own orange groves.
Just this week, I found yet more photographs among my aunt’s collections, and I wonder if these two capture that period in my mother’s life. Both these photos, meticulously labeled with name and age—including a count of how many months old—followed my grandmother’s habit, but were not penned in my grandmother’s distinctive handwriting.
I wonder: could they have been written by my mother’s grandmother? Would she be the one inscribing these photos because she was serving as surrogate mother at the time?
A specific note was made about the date being three months to the day after my mother’s eighth birthday. Seeing the addition of a doll to one photograph, and the costume change though these two photos were taken on the same day, I wonder if they represent belated birthday gifts, as this woman’s way to cajole my mother into feeling just a bit more at home in the residence of her grandparents.