My grandmother loves pictures. Her entire house is a scrapbook, a display of photographs spanning decades, cataloging the lives of those she loves. Her fridge is the ever-changing display of the pictures she wants to look at most. I don’t get to grandma’s nearly as often as I would like, but when I do, I always look at the pictures on the fridge to quickly catch up.
It has been interesting to see my own picture evolve over the years, especially the ones taken with others. When I was a child, many of my pictures contained one or both of my parents or one of my grandparents. Later, many of them featured my cousins. In my latter teenage years, my ex began to enter the pictures. I remember two of her fridge in particular: one taken in the airport when we were departing from a trip to visit my grandmother and another from when I was awarded teacher of the year.
When he left, obviously those pictures had to be replaced.
The first replacement was taken with the police officer who arrested my ex-husband. It was somewhat surreal to see that photo surrounded by pictures of family. But that man became family of a sort that summer, as he looked out for me as family would. This picture was taken less than two weeks after he left. My ex was in jail at the time of the photo.
The next replacement was a picture taken with my current partner (at a baseball game, one of my new passions) after we had only been seeing each other a few weeks.
“Grandma, I exclaimed!,” shocked at seeing his face up there so soon. “It has only been a few weeks; isn’t it kind of soon to have his picture up.”
“It’s not like it’s up there with glue,” she calmly replied with a sly smile.
That day I received a bit of Zen wisdom from my grandmother and her fridge. Nothing is permanent; everything will change.
I am happy to report that almost four years later, the picture has been replaced, but the man in it has not.