Before the funeral, my little sister gathered probably close to 100 photos of my grandma and various members of my grandma's family from the past 96 years and mounted them all on three giant pieces of poster board to display in the church during the service. A few of the photos were actually my grandma's own copies of the picture, including one of my mom's sister's family, who live very far away and who we (and my grandma) therefore very rarely see. On the back, my aunt wrote everybody's name, in the order they're sitting, so my grandma would know which great grandchild she'd never met was which.
Given my grandma's proclivity for labeling and imposing commentary on all things around her house (tight pants, dirty towels, lima beans, etc.), it should be no surprise that the woman added her own notes alongside my aunt's. My sister noticed the comments when she took apart the collages recently, and she e-mailed them to me the other day.
Some of the comments were old lady nonsense. "Return OK"? "See the twins so grandchildren care"? I have no idea what these things mean. But "Debbie look fat?" "Mike less hair"? I'm pretty sure what she was trying to get at with those (and it makes me glad we didn't find any notated photos of our side of the family... I'm not sure my ego could handle what my grandma thought of my body or my hair).
My favorite, though? Hands down that was this one. You may recall that the only way my mom was able to explain e-mail to her mother was to say she "wrote letters to people through the TV." I don't know if my grandma ever wondered why she couldn't write letters through her TV--if she thought she just didn't have the right equipment or wasn't paying for the right channel package for that. All I know is that to her, the Internet came through the TV. Hence, when my cousin met his now-wife on the Internet and they had a child together, my grandma's understanding was that it somehow transpired through their television. Under my cousin's name on the back of that photo, then, directed at my cousin's small child, my grandma wrote the following:
"The baby that he got to enjoy from the T.V. doings."
Sweet Jesus. TV doings. Oh, to be in that woman's head for just one day. I can only imagine all the other fantastic material she had hidden in there.