Last night, I started to create an electronic photo album of my Mom. I started with her old brown photo album compiled pre-Dad. I'd browsed through this album many times over the years, but this was the first time I was really seeing it. Something new - a bunch of never seen high school records that she must have put in the front of the album when she moved into Tonawanda Manor. I didn't really need proof of this, but there it was - my mother was very intelligent! I always knew that she was Valedictorian of her class, but she also received achievement certificates in Journalism, English, Social Studies and <ahem> Dramatics (which explains a lot!). In her Junior year, she received some fancy-sounding award in American History. As many times as I've thought that I was born 10 -20 years too late, I wonder how many times she thought that she was born 20 or 30 years too early?
As I continued to piece together my Mom, I saw on my phone the last picture taken of her - by my brother - on March 19th. It was to be his last day with her, and she was alert, laughing and happy. For the first time, I felt an overwhelming sense of loss and grief.
If today were a normal Saturday, I would be heading out soon to spend a couple of hours with Mom. But today is not normal.....
She has a lot of pictures of herself in her album. I guess this is just one more way that we were not at all alike. Well, I don't blame her - she was way more photogenic than me. Also unlike me, she was not afraid to put imperfect pictures in her album. Case in point - wedding pictures of my Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Carmen. The pictures of the bride and groom seem to have been double exposed, but it gave them a 19th century quality that makes me wonder if someone took the pictures this way on purpose - except that they were all like this, so I don't think so, but there they were in all of their imperfect beauty.
So far, this is my favorite picture of my Mom:
I wonder what she was thinking about there?