Picnic At Walnut Grove

IMG_E3838My Grandma and Grandpa Betts have been gone for a lot of years. Grandpa left us in July 1993 and she followed in November 1995. While the official cause of death was congestive heart failure,  I stand by my belief that she died of a broken heart.

I’ve seen many old photos of them but, at some point, all the old photos become familiar. And with them gone there’s no opportunity to take more pictures. That makes finding new-to-me pictures that much more special

One night last year, my oldest and dearest friend sent me a picture that had come from a box at her grandma’s house. According to the back, it was a Sunday School picnic at Walnut Grove Church –  her family’s church. She thought I would enjoy it, not knowing that it was a picture of my own family.

I saw it first on my phone and it took a minute to register what I was seeing. The air went out of the room when I realized I was looking at my own grandparents decades before I knew them.

Nearly every person in this picture is related to me and it was a thrill to sit down with my dad and figure out who some of them are. There are still a few mysteries but we have identified most.

Grandma and Grandpa close upIn case you’re interested, my grandpa was named Earl and he’s the handsome, dark haired man in the back, standing third from left. His bride, Garnet, is standing just in front of him and slightly to the right. She’s holding in her arms their first born child.

I think they make a handsome couple.

Photographs are so important. They give us insight into our past, they preserve people and moments we want to remember. They are a connection to a moment that we’ll never get back. And sometimes, photographs give us back the people we loved and show us a side of them we never knew before.