A Favorite Photo Selected for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks


The first photo to come to mind when asked to select a favorite photo for this challenge isn’t an old one, an ancestor I never met, or a “real” one in the traditional sense. Let me explain.

On 27 February 2011, our first grandchild, Miles, arrived and three days later my mom died. The amazing high immediately followed by an unbearable low threw a wicked curveball my way. However, after a month, with my feet more squarely on the ground, my vision reached out beyond my own loss to the celebration of what gift of life we now enjoyed.

My husband’s mother, Orpha Erickson, almost 92, now the only living member of that generation for our family, deserved some special attention since she didn’t live near us and we didn’t know how long it would take before she could meet her first great-grandchild. I created a plan that involved several people and lots of coordination.

First, I asked my brother-in-law to take a picture of my mother-in-law sitting in her favorite comfortable chair with one arm up on the chair arm as if she was holding something and the other arm on her lap.

Orpha in chair

Second, we visited our grandson, who could not yet sit up by himself and placed him in an over-sized armchair with lots of padding and took several pictures of him from slightly different views. Here’s the one selected:

B380B615EBAD472A812B5F310D70CA45I then imported both pictures into Photoshop and tried to merge them. I wasn’t too successful, so I asked our film editor daughter to give it a try. Of course, she came through with this delightful picture:

Orpha and Miles summer 2011

When I sent Orpha the photo, her immediate response was, “Is my memory failing so much that I don’t remember meeting Miles?” We enjoyed a good chuckle.

Now my mother-in-law has this wonderful connection with her great-grandson and was able to meet him in person a few months later. Don’t they look content sitting together?