This is a picture of my paternal grandfather with his brother and parents in Krakow, Poland sometime around 1930. I came across it while looking through a treasure trove of old family photos at my grandmother’s house.
I know where my body shape comes from.
I mean, I already knew–there are plenty of fat/chubby/in-betweenie people on both sides of my family. But it’s amazing to see visual evidence of how far back it goes, contrary to the popular belief that “obesity” is a newfangled invention of modern society, that everyone was thin in some idealized heyday before TV and fast food.
It’s just amazing to see my own body looking back at me from nearly a century ago.
To see how the threads of history, of family, weave through us and tie us together.
This was my first, uncomplicated reaction when I saw the photo.
What’s harder to tangle with, and to write about–even though I know it in my bones–the fact that my grandfather’s parents didn’t make it out of Europe alive. My grandfather and his Irish-twin brother (born a year apart on the same day) escaped and found each other in America years later.