My grandmother wasn’t always a grandmother, nor even a mother.
This family portrait was taken circa 1895. Mother, whose name was Arkansas, stands behind her four daughters. Kate, the eldest, on the left, is substantially older than next in age, Vinnie, on the right. A sister Alice and brother Jessie born between Kate and Vinnie died, evidently in infancy or early childhood. Ruby is the youngest in the picture.
And there’s my grandmother, front and center, as a three or four year old child. The picture was taken before the birth of their brother, Weaver William. He made my grandmother the middle child in a family of five surviving children.
They addressed each other as sister Kate and sister Ruby, never using just the given name alone. Because he was the only brother, Weaver was addressed just as “brother.”
How much did this family influence who my grandmother grew up to be? Probably a lot. All these siblings are part of who she was.