It'll be 10 years this Christmas since my mother died. It was an ugly death from ovarian cancer and I'll never get over it. I hate that I can't hear her voice anymore or quickly see her face in my mind's eye. But I have photos to remind me, help to fill in the pieces, jog the memories.
We take photos of family members for granted. They get tossed around, stuck in odd places, forgotten. I try to imagine what it was like for people when photos for the common folk became affordable. When an image could be saved, maybe only one photo, that took them through their life. One photo, one scrap of paper, that was cherished because it reminded them of someone they loved who they would never see again.
We're so inundated with images today and people's egos have grown to where they expect to see themselves everywhere 24/7. It's almost too much. The quiet of a single image seems to be lost. There's always more to consume. Do people slow down enough to look at images of family and friends before quickly moving on to the next digital image? The same amount of care doesn't need to be taken because the images cost nothing. They're bits and bites and can be easily erased.
I thought of this because I saw an ad in the newspaper for Mother's Day. I don't even know when it is. It's a manufactured "holiday" used to sell stuff. I remember as a child driving through Baltimore on Mother's Day and seeing young men standing on the stoops of their homes wearing carnations in their lapels and my mother told me that the white meant their mother had died, the pink or red that their mother was still alive. I never again thought of carnations the same way. I always remember those young men with their single white carnation. That has always been my image of Mother's Day.
I'm assuming this photo is of a mother and child, but I have no proof. It was purchased at an estate sale a few years ago along with some wedding photos. It's badly worn, but the image is still strong and meaningful. Someone kept it for years and then it was lost to a stranger, me. I posted another photo from this same estate sale in an earlier post of another little girl standing on a chair. It could be the same little girl, I just don't know. It's sad to think that this image became unwanted and just something to sell. At some point it was viewed by someone who loved and cherished these people. For now it's in my care. Their history reminding me of my history.
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