Saturday, March 18, 2017

to matter

A pair of old photos from my mothers childhood makes me smile and nod and ponder. I like to think of them as Exhibit A and B.
Exhibit A, above, shows my visiting great grandmother Minerva. It also shows my Aunt Fran, the toddler beaming on the left, and on the right, my mother. My very, very sad little mother.. Smack dab in the center is a cousin, the little interloper. She has traveled by train across the Rocky Mountains with Gramma Minerva. There is something recognizable in her pose. It's HER Gramma Minerva.  There is also something recognizable in my mother's pose, something so unusual that it stands out like a beacon.
My mother is Sad.
Exhibit B is very telling. The photographer, likely my own kind Gramma has sized up the situation. My Very Sad Mother has now been given the place of honor at Gramma Minerva's knee.
Baby Fran's smile has faded.
There is angst in the air.
Little Interloper has taken up her new position unimpaired and has a hand possessively and comfortably placed.
My mother's mood remains unaltered. Very Sad still has her in its grip. In fact, she may now have added Very Put Out.

Time has swirled by since that long ago afternoon.
Lots and lots of time.
My mother has always been known for the sweetness of her disposition and the steadfastness of her optimistic, friendly nature, for her remarkably ever ready smile.
But here, in black and white is the evidence.
She was once a little girl just like any other little girl.

The steady smile of Great Gramma Minerva, the comforting warm sun, a kindly photographer.... all come together in these pictures.
They prove the universal need we all have to feel important and special.
To matter.

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