Digging through my purse has been a favorite pastime of Claire’s since she was six months old. She’d find my compact, open it, and scrape at the powder. Shake the Tic Tacs. Chew on my phone.
What she liked most was to rearrange my wallet. She’d take out the debit cards and the American Express card and the AAA card and the insurance card and the various Hallmark/Dicks/Staples/Giant Eagle store cards and then put them back, usually cramming them into one slot.
Claire hasn’t been through my purse in awhile, although Luca has a time or two. Today, though, she wanted to rummage through it. When she dug out my wallet, she found my driver’s license and said, “That’s you, Grammy!”
What she didn’t know was that behind my current driver’s license was my license from six years ago. I took it out and showed it to her.
“Who’s that person, Grammy?” she asked.
“That was Grammy a long time ago,” I said.
She stared at me for a second, like I’d gone completely nuts.
“No,” she finally said. “That’s not you.”
Some day it will make sense to her. Some day she’ll see photos of me at 300 pounds and recognize her Grammy. Somewhere in my eyes, I suspect. Or my smile.
Within those before photos is a vague yet important resemblance to the me of today. There is energy within them. The spark of a woman who worked hard, dreamed, loved her kids, and was a good person. Claire will see that one day, I’m sure of it.
While it’s often hard to reconcile before and after photos, the only real difference is weight. The real me is always there. Yes, I’ve grown as a person; matured and learned a lot about nutrition and me and why I eat and all that, but deep down – at my very core – I am me at any weight.
Here are a few more photos from my amazing day with the grandbabies. It was my first solo trip to Pittsburgh in more than five weeks. While I’ve seen Claire and Luca in that time, this was our first real back-to-normal visit. We all needed it.