Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"She wrote, 'My Mother'"

A Wonderful Discovery
The week after Hurricane Ike the kids and I stayed with my sister in San Antonio for several days.  On the last day right before we left, she mentioned that she had a couple of "tubs" of stuff that was mom and dad's and asked me if I wanted to go through it. [Well, duh...]  To my utter surprise I found many family photographs, memorabilia, and old school projects [of my dad's].  I was so ecstatic.  She also said I needed to get over to mom's house because there were more "tubs" to go through.  [I have yet to go back, but it's on top of my summer "to-do" list.]

Lillie Mae Alley
This is one of the precious photographs that I found of my great-grandmother on my dad's side, Lillie Mae Alley.  She was the daughter of Catharine Caroline Vaughn who I introduced you to yesterday.  This is the photograph of her that my grandma [my Paw-Paw] had of her mother.  She looks so young, and after doing some research, I found that she'd married very young and died young, so this photograph truly captures her innocence and her life.  She passed away when my Paw-Paw was only 6 years old.  Lillie Mae gave birth to four children: Little Pearl, Roscoe Benton, Rettie Maye [my Paw-Paw], and Mabel Irene.  Little Pearl passed away when just an infant, and until I found her, no one knew she'd existed.  I wonder if my Paw-Paw had known...
Lillie Mae Alley

My Paw-Paw wrote, "My Mother"
While it's never easy to lose a loved one, certainly this was a difficult age for my Paw-Paw to lose her mother, and I wonder what she thought about this photograph that she had of her mother.  On the back, my Paw-Paw wrote simply, "Lillie Mae Alley (my mother).  Following are the lyrics of a song called "Photograph" that accurately captures the feeling I get when looking at family photographs...[written and performed by Charlie Robison, a Texas music performer; see my music picks in my sidebar.]:


Photograph
[written & performed by
Charlie Robison]
Well I got a picture
It's glued in a book
Of most of my family,
 that somebody took

Well Grandpa died early
Before I could know
The man that they tell me
That I take after so

Well I don't remember
But it still makes me laugh
When I see us together
In a photograph

Well mama and daddy
Burned hot like a flame
But it all turned ashes
With no one to blame

and I can still see them
But not in my mind
It's been so long
All my memories lie

Well I can't remember
But it still makes me laugh
When I see us together
In a photograph

Well it happened last winter
We had a son
And they took a picture
Of family, round one

It's there to remind you
For when you can't recall
What your daddy looked like
When you were so small

Though you won't remember
It'll still make you laugh
When you see us together
In a photograph

No you won't remember
It'll still make you laugh
When you see us together
In a photograph

Happy Mother's Day, Lillie Mae...

Caroline

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