These are some of my most favourite images of my mother.
This one in particular. Look at all that stuff on the shelves! I look at this picture and I'm filled with so much wonder. What was it that sold for just 10 cents? Was a store like this busy back in the day? Who took this picture? Did my mother have any idea what her life would turn out like? What did she dream her life would be?
That smile! So bright and hopeful for the future. So happy to be in the present.
And this one... my goodness. What a classy lady! What style and composure! I wish style in the 2000s was like this. Instead we have little girls wearing belly shirts and off the shoulder sweaters. Not to mention what teenagers are wearing...
As a little girl I loved when Mom would pull this baby out of the drawer. It was dusty royal blue in colour. It was "knobby" and fit more like hotpants than a bathing suit. And... wait for it... my favourite FAVOURITE part was the hard plastic lining inside the bust to keep the shape. It was hilarious to my young mind, the idea preposterous. So silly. Every single time it made an appearance, with it's full cups raring to go, I would laugh and laugh and always hoped my mother would try it on one last time. She never did. But look at her there in all her sunbathing glory 50 years ago in July 1965 . Wasn't she just adorable? Seriously.
Looking like a movie star, with her bed neatly made and her dresser tidy and obviously dusted. What did that perfume in the bottle smell like? What I'd give to see this dress in real life. And to have inherited my mother's thin arms.
I look at those hands of her's in that picture ablove, slender fingers bejewelled with fancy rings, and I am filled with appreciation for all those hands did for my life. Those hands changed my diapers, bathed me in warm water, chopped and washed and cooked all the food that kept me growing and healthy. Those hands brushed and braided my hair, taught me to print my own name and to this day, those hands sign cards filled with love to my children. Her grandchildren. Pretty amazing stuff.
My mom, one month wed. Someone's cracking her up. I wonder what that conversation went like. Who was she talking to?
Style and grace. I remember Kim and I played with those kitten-heeled, size 10, white satin wedding shoes. We clomped around the house in them endlessly until we finally made them unwearable. I assume they eventually made their way to the garbage bag. And that crown. We loved that even more. I remember fishing it from a "junk" drawer in my mother dresser, flatten beneath reams of our colourful school work and papers. I think Kim and I both wore it with our First Holy Communion dresses. I think it survived the test of time. I'm sure I've seen it somewhere in the last decade or so.
I think my love of weddings stemmed from seeing my mother's wedding pictures so long ago. I loved the rare opportunity I had to flip through her wedding album. It lay on the bottom of the small stack of family albums on the shelf in her closet. It hardly ever came out of the closet but when it did, I was all over it.
One day Mom finally caved in to my constant requests to see the actual dress. We went down into the basement where she poked around the dusty rafters and, there tucked in under the old yellow and orange tent that leaked like a basket, was the dress.
I was ten and I couldn't believe how tiny it was. I tried pulling my arms through but the sleeves wouldn't go past my elbows! It was tiny and elegant. And looked so bloody uncomfortable.
This is sooooo Ingrid's thing, too. She keeps asking to see my wedding dress and someday I'll turn the big reveal into a big special occasion. My dress is also in a box in the basement.
Like mother like daughter in a million little ways.
Happy Birthday Mom!