The end of mine is not the end:
The end is someone’s beginning.
Occasionally there are some special evenings, when your granny wants to have just a small talk with you, which turns out to last the whole evening. Then she asks you to open old photograph albums. Granny also wants you to pick her favorite flower as far as it is still the middle of autumn. “My sister loved these roses,” she reminds me again.
Having heard something interesting, 10-year-old granny’s great grandson decided to join us. Although he didn’t fully understand everything, he was looking at pictures with a great interest. He could recognize only a few people , and my granny couldn’t discern everyone. I had to help both of them. That evening we saw several photograph albums.
When my granny was looking at photos of her children (when they were small), when suddenly she saw the portrait of her being young or found some photos of her husband, sister or friends, her hands started shaking and there were tears in her eyes. But at the same time a slow bright smile was spread across her face. Exactly the same as she wore on the photos, which had been made 50 years ago.
The granny was keeping silence. She was just looking photos over. It seemed like she was doing it mechanically not even looking at them. She was thinking of something. Being afraid of interrupting this process, I was looking at every picture. On the reverse of majority of them there were different inscriptions: “for darling sister”, “for a friend”… It would be definitely possible to make a map from them. The photos-wishes had been sent from every corner of the world.
All photos were special. Almost the majority of them had been prepared, while the tiny minority was made spontaneously. Nevertheless, every photo was full of power, fondness and respect. Some of them were carefully framed by lace.
There were not any colorful photos. But the color was hardly needed to express all feelings. It was enough to have a look at the faces. In spite of anything that might have happened in their lives, people on the photos were smiling. Maybe they had known something inside out… And now in such way they support us, making us never give up and always go ahead.
Three different generations were sitting around the table with loads of photos. They meant different for everyone. For granny they were the whole life. For me they were part of reality, for little Mykhas’ they were imaginary story, for granny – her entire life.
Olia Vasylets, a participant of the History begins in the family project,
Pishchanka settlement, Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine
Translation by Yuliya Levytska
Photos by Olha Vasylets