Updated: Dec 26, 2020
During the past three months I’ve been spending time reconnecting with family and the stories we tell. Some of which have been about my Grandad Jack, who was one of my favorites. The man I knew was quiet, kind, a bit of a jokester, loved Dr Pepper and was ridiculously good at Chinese checkers aka Sternhalma. He loved the open road and would sometime take off without telling anyone he was going. He was not perfect but I loved him very much. I told him so whenever I saw him and he always responded “The feeling is mutual.”. That was his way.
Last year I brought his bible home with me to Atlanta. There are a lot of personal details on display when you look at someone’s holy book, Bible or otherwise. The protective covering they use (or don’t), the notes written or stuck inside, if the binding is broken and crackling pages. See for yourself.
But there was one detail that struck me. When I said my Grandad was quiet, I also mean private. I have interviews with him that consist mostly of dead air. So seeing this unsteady scrawl in the death notices tells a little more of his story.
I think this is a visual of my Grandfather’s grief for his eldest son. Uncle Jack, named after his father, died in 2008 . I’ve heard it said from family and otherwise, that a parent should never outlive their child, no matter the age of either. The loss of my uncle laid heavy on my grandparents and to see a visual of him processing that grief is heart-wrenching. However, he was not one to speak on his feelings and although it’s not the happiest of moments of our family history, it’s a part of our story and I’m glad to know a little more.
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