Wow! How Things Have Changed


This picture is a very personal photo for me.  I just came across this while cleaning out old photos from my camera roll and figured I'd share.  It's the Holiday season and it's a time when I try to reflect and be thankful for all that I've been afforded in life. It's funny that this picture randomly surfaced at this time of year. It has special meaning and for me is a great reminder of many of the things that I am thankful for. 

This picture was taken in the 1940s. The black man in this picture is my grandfather.  It was taken on Christmas Day as he was working as a servant for a wealthy family. One of the things that strikes me so much about this picture is that although my grandfather did work for this family full time, he was their gardener. Not a house servant. He was required to work as extra help in the house on major holidays.

He was born in 1900. The grandson of a slave.  He knew a very different life than his children and grand children would come to know. His entire life was spent in service to wealthy white families. As the grandson of a slave, that was how he was raised and all that he knew. The idea that he could be home with his family on a major holiday like Christmas was a foreign concept to him.

Despite all of that. He managed to raise 3 children and was able to put them in a position to be able to follow a different path in life.  Most people want more in life for their kids than they had. Few figure out how to actually do it. Especially back in the 1940s as an uneducated black man. 

He passed away in the mid 70's so my time with him was very short and I was very young.  I'm humbled and proud of where my family has come from. It's been quite a journey. He would be so proud.  Thank you grandpa for everything. I wish you could have lived long enough to see what has become reality for your family. I love you.