My Granny got a digital picture frame for Christmas from my cousin, and ever since my cousin has been going through Granny’s pictures to scan them for the frame.
As a result of my cousin digging around in the multitude of photographs that my Granny has collected over the decades of her life, my cousin has uncovered photographs that my Granny never even realized that she had. She must have inherited them from her mother when she passed and perhaps never went through them.
My Grampa Ross died at Vimy Ridge, not much is known about him. My Granny never knew him, and he never saw her. She was born after he’d already gone off to war, and of course he never returned.
She had never seen these pictures before, not until these past few weeks once my cousin found the photographs of him holding my Great Aunt Mary. I look at these photos and I search for familial resemblance, as my Granny has done. She’s looked for herself in his features, as though perhaps she is searching for some connection to the man she has never known.
‘The dimple’. That’s what my Mom tells me she has noticed. There is a family trait that has been passed through the generations, my Granny has it, I have it and my son EB has it. LB has gone one further, I believe he has his Grampa Ross’s crooked smile as well. One side of his face pulling up higher than the other when he grins up at me. I always thought that perhaps it was his disabilty and lack of muscular control, but now as I look at my Grampa Ross’s photograph, I see that same smile looking back at me that I see every day and I think that something else has passed on as well.
It’s a dimple that shows whenever we smile, but it’s only on one side of our faces. Whenever we smile, one cheek is smooth and plump, the other has a slight indent or a dimple as it is commonly known and for my entire life I’ve always regretted this dimple.
I’ve wanted to have either a dimple on either side of my face or none at all. I’ve been teased about this dimple by other children, it’s been called a polk mark, and I’ve been asked why it’s only on one side of my face. I’ve never really liked that dimple, but now that I look at these photos of a man who died 54 years before I was born, at Vimy Ridge, I see that dimple and suddenly I’m happy of that connection. It’s a family trait and now we know where we got it and while he may have died before knowing his family, and he never knew of the legacy he left behind, he did leave us that small contribution to our family and from now on when someone in my family smiles and reveals that singular dimple, I’ll smile in return and tell them how they have their Grampa Ross’s dimple. If I see a family member smile with that crooked grin, I’ll know that it’s their Grampa Ross’s smile and I’ll know that his legacy is alive and well, all these years later.