Here’s Looking At You

Posted: March 10, 2013 in family, Holidays, Life, Photography, Relationships, remembrance
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It took me eight years to run out of pictures. Today would have been my mother’s 70th birthday and I can’t find a single picture of her that I haven’t seen a hundred times already.

They stop at Christmas 2004, the year before she died from cancer. That’s one of the things you don’t consider when someone dies; there will never be more pictures of them. Sometimes another face takes their place in the line-up and sometimes those left behind just huddle closer for the camera to close the hole. Either way, the photographic evidence of their existence just…stops.

The camera loved my mother, at least the back of the camera because that’s where she usually was. The willing wielder of Polaroids, Instamatics, Minoltas and Sureshots. The camera-toting chronicler of holidays and road trips, family gatherings and the mundane moments of our everyday lives.

My sister and I, acting like we like each other, 1970's.

My sister and I, acting like we like each other, 1970’s.

“Come on, stand closer and act like you like each other,” she’d direct as we posed on street corners and mountains, by road signs and historical markers, on the rocks by the Atlantic, on the sand by the Pacific, in my parents’ living room for graduations, my grandparents’ dining room for birthdays, and in front of 39 years of Christmas trees.

It’s no wonder it only took eight years. My collection of photos with her in them is small though the archives of those she took are immense. I never have to wonder where I’ve been or who I am because she laid it out for me in photo albums and picture frames. So today I’ll start over with a fresh eye to a familiar face, beginning again with one of my favorite pictures.

Happy Birthday, Mom. Here’s looking at you.

My mom does Bogie in her dad's favorite hat.

My mom does Bogie in her dad’s favorite hat.

  1. Teri says:

    Nice Post Kelly, certainly thought provoking. I miss your Mom too. She was always so encouraging and cheerful to me.

    • Thanks, Teri. She always got such a kick out of you. I remember your mom the day of the funeral, talking about how they’d been family for 50 years, and I’d never thought about that before, the longevity of their relationship. With all the photographers in your family, just think of the generations of memories you’re making. Makes me smile for you!

  2. Wow, your mom. She was a woman who knew her own power. I am sorry you have to miss her, but she lives on in your loving memory. Good post, good thoughts.

  3. Carroll Collins says:

    You remember her very well, Kelly

  4. My father died of cancer also and I wish there were more pictures. I do have some great ones of him being “grandpa” to my kids and I love them. He wasn’t always the most responsible dad in the world, but he was a proud grandpa. That erased much of the hurt of the past, watching him with my girls. We all miss him and will never forget him. Sounds like your mom was a wonderful person in your life and others.

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