Lowell Louis Lillilbridge, Burke High School Graduation photo taken 1927. He was a young man way ahead of his time coming from a small town in South Dakota. I don’t think this was the graduation photograph that his father and stepmother particularly liked-it was perhaps even a bit scandalous in the day. Lowell (known as Louis) was graduating a year early and heading off to The University of Chicago to begin his studies. He had a remarkably keen intellect and was the most generous man I’ve ever known, both with his resources and spirit.
Lately, Grandpa has been visiting me in both my dreams and my waking life. I often ask him what to do when I have challenges in my life. I promise I am not going to get too (new age-y) here, I’ve just been thinking a lot lately about how much our ancestral knowledge plays a huge role in who we are and how we navigate the world. Grandpa died July 24th, 1986. I was 19 years old then and my sorrow when he died was felt into my bone marrow. Now as a 48 year old woman my access to him is much better understood. He’s a part of me physically (deep set Lillibridge eyes and a decent inseam) and in my spirit. In my dream last night he told me to “keep going and push harder”. I can interpret this a lot of ways right now in my life and I am going to pay attention. Thank you Grandpa for all that you’ve instilled in me. I am eternally grateful and I am listening.
A portrait of my Grandfather done by Linda Frasch in the late 1970s I would guess. My Mom just sent me this painting for my birthday. I have always loved it because of the style. It very much reminds me of the New Yorker artist Maira Kalman whom I adore.
Maira Kalman illustration from her 2012 book: And the Pursuit of Happiness