Two days after my mother’s death, I cornered myself in her room with a stack of her pictures and transported myself to a time I never existed. This kind of travel, accompanied by a glass of red and the determination to eternalize her memory, set me on a path to resurrect my mother in the only way I now felt was possible. These photographs became magical. They lit up in front of my cross-legged figure like a campfire, and I devoured each whole, like a perfectly browned marshmallow.
I felt a deep sense of contentment when I came across a portrait in which she couldn’t have been older than eighteen, and daydreamed about every detail – from her choice of perfectly polished jewelry to her hand-knitted shawl. The smile that pulled joyfully at her lips shone as effortlessly as the warmth of the setting sun against her face. She was beautiful, and I could see every inch of the mother that I had known in that teenage girl, so carefree and full of life. Though I didn’t know her then, I know her well.
There are photographs that have a way of capturing something in us, that is us. Though their secret is unknown to me, it has inspired me to surround myself with pictures from the past, for they remind me that time is not so linear… That I can travel to and from my mother as she was, as she is, as she always will be.
April 1, 1952 - June 13, 2012