One Saturday afternoon Nanna was sifting through the cupboard, and came across that set of pictures. They were in a box of stuff from a McDade family reunion Pa had gone to years ago. The reunion was up near Mudgee, or at least somewhere in New South Wales. The McDades got together in a local hall and drank cups of instant coffee and ate scotch fingers. People had looked across the room to see someone with a nose like them. A lot of them shared a head of dark wavy hair.
Nanna looked through the photographs, noting names and faces, and there, right in the centre of a photo, were Michael’s eyes staring up at her. She called Don in from feeding the dogs, and they both looked at the woman who looked like Michael. It was a small photograph with worn edges and a stain on the back. Four people were looking up from the frame
In the photo were two men, both with hats, a woman sitting on a chair, and in the centre a stern looking lady. Her face wasn’t smiling like the others; it looked straight on into the lens and serious about the task at hand. Her forehead was creased; her nose is rigid and slim, holding above it pale grey eyes and a thick set of eyebrows.
When Michael used to sit in the lounge watching football, he had the same face. He used to rest his fingers and palm around the arm of the couch and tap them intermittently, balancing a cup of tea on the top of his leg. The lady in the photograph was holding her hands behind her back. Her fingers rest together, and she tapped her middle finger against her knuckle as she waited. Inside her tightly laced shoe, her pinky toe sat slightly curled under her foot.
Michael’s toe was the same; so is mine, my aunt’s, my cousin’s.