Greet Greeta and Daughter, Ida
So imagine leaving your homeland in the late 1800s to come to America with a tiny child in tow. You get here not knowing the language. Why did you come? No man travels with you. Perhaps you are a single mother? Perhaps unwed? Running away? There are more questions than answers. That is the case with these two women who look anything but happy to be standing side by side. While working on the restoration I just knew there had to be a story. The owner of the photo is a 96 year old woman and this is her mother and grandmother. I invited myself over to her house to meet her and find out more about the photo. Naomi and her daughter, Nana, were very hospitable. Taco, the chihuahua, less so. But eventually he decided I wasn't going to take his place on the lap and let me stay. So the story is that Greeta brought Ida to the new world and left her in Michigan with a Swedish family and then went back home to Finland. Years later she came back with a husband and wanted Ida back with her. Ida, a teenager by then, had no memory of her mother and didn't even speak the same language as her mother. She spoke Swedish and English but not Finnish. It was a big drama and ended up in a court case whereby she was returned to her birth mother. She never spoke of her as, or called her, "Mother"; just Greeta. Imagine that. Standing side by side but worlds apart. I decided to put them in a misty swamp separated by a bullfrog.
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