If you look deeply into the palm of your hand,
you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors.
You are the continuation of each of these people.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Generations Apart, One in Heart. Four birthdays are celebrated this week in our larger family. I thought it appropriate to highlight their birthdays by including pictures of each birthday person with their grandparent, or in one case, with their grandchild. In all four pictures, the pairs are approximately the same age.
Emma Wilk and Beverly Russell Wilk. June 6, Monday of this past week, was the 11th birthday of Emma Beverly Jean Wilk, granddaughter of Beverly Russell Wilk (1939-1974). Emma and her mom Shannon Wilk live in Atchison, Kansas.
|Emma and Grandmother Beverly|
In this first picture, Emma's image (left) was taken on her birthday earlier this week. On the right is her grandmother Beverly Russell in a picture that was taken in San Diego almost 70 years ago, in 1947. At the time of Beverly's photo she was about the same age that Emma is now.
Beryl Swinney Shepard and Kaylan Shepard. Yesterday, June 11, was the 93rd anniversary of the birth of my aunt Beryl Swinney Shepard (1923-1994), wife of Elmer Shepard, and mother of Dane and Joan Shepard.
|Kaylan and Grandmother Beryl|
In the picture above, Beryl's image (on the right) is coupled with the image of her granddaughter Kaylan Shepard, daughter of Dane and Cindy Shepard of Blanchard, Oklahoma. Beryl, in military uniform, served during World War II, which is when this picture of her was taken, while Kaylan's picture was taken earlier this year.
Scott Ortiz and Thelma Shepard Boyd. This coming Monday, June 13, is the 31st birthday of Scott Ortiz of El Cajon, California. He is the second son of Kim Boyd Clark and her late husband Gabe Ortiz.
|Scott and Grandmother Thelma|
This picture shows Scott on the left in an image from a picture taken earlier this month. The right half of this picture, taken in 1958, shows Scott's grandmother Thelma Shepard Boyd when she was about the same age that Scott is now and living in San Diego. Thelma lives today in Blue Springs, Missouri, not far from her daughter, and Scott's sister, Kim.
Kambree Kay Bowman and Kerri Shepard Aquiningoc. And finally, this coming Tuesday, June 14, is the 3rd birthday of Kambree Kay Bowman, daughter of Mandi Aquiningoc and Stephen Bowman of Weatherford, Texas.
|Kerri and Granddaughter Kambree|
This composite photo shows Kambree on the right, from a picture taken very recently. The image on the left is a picture of her grandmother Kerri Shepard Aquiningoc, taken in 1971 in San Diego when she was about the same age that Kambree is now. Kerri lives today in Weatherford, Texas.
Happy Birthday and best wishes to each of the birthday people pictured above!
These pairs are presented in this way not just to generate some nostalgia, especially among those of us who can remember life years ago. But this also highlights the important relationships between the generations. Being two generations apart sometimes suggests distance and separation, but the fact is that there are connections that cannot be denied, connections that are significant whether or not the two relatives ever met.
Look closely with eyes of discernment and you can see the connections in the images above, in the eyes, in the hair, in the smiles. All of this is one more reminder that our lives, minds and hearts are inextricably intertwined with our ancestors, even if that ancestor is only two generations away.
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