Saturday, September 10, 2011


Tonight I was visiting with my friends Sara and Marty-Marr. We were enjoying some of Sara's wonderful homemade apple turnovers and coffee, and as always, good conversation. Sara lost her father to cancer a few years back, and Marty-Marr has lost both his parents since I lost my mom, and we often talk about the four of them and how their deaths have affected us. It's nice to bounce those emotions off someone who is feeling the same way.

Tonight Marty-Marr posed an interesting question. Maybe more of an observation. He said he had noticed that at both our houses, the only photos of our parents that were out on display were those taken when our parents were young...and beautiful.

We both agreed that looking at photos of our parents from recent years made us sad, but that the photos from decades back, somehow made us feel happy. My mom was beautiful, but I must say, in the 1940's, Marty-Marr's mother was a stone cold fox. There are lovely photos of her in Betty Grable type bathing suits and heels. You can't help but look at those photos and smile.

But some sadness does come from that. You see photos of your mom with three or four other young women; clearly close friends. You wonder where they were. Who were the friends? What happened to them? Questions that will never be answered, and that is bittersweet. After her death, Marty-Marr uncovered a wealth of old photos that made him wonder about the woman he never knew. He wished he'd taken the time to look at those photos while his mom was alive, so she could have answered the questions, and given him greater insight into who she really was back then. Clearly, she wasn't always the mama who bandaged his knee and fought off the bullies.

So if your parents are still alive--get to know them. Drag out those old photo albums now, before it's too late. Ask questions. Listen to stories. You might just be surprised.

1 comment:

Christopher Gilbert said...

Mom says she doesn't care 'one little bit' if anyone remembers her, or anything she was, or anything she 'was'. That floored me. She knows I care, though. When I think of people being forgotten, I get sad. When I was 10 I think, mom and dad got me a tape recorder, and I went around asking the old folks questions. Very little of that material survived all the moves I've made across the country, or time's ravages. I read somewhere that the Universe never forgets anything, no matter how small.