My Mother's Hat

+ Comments (3) My Mother's Hat - 2007-05-13 08:09:29
I spent something like 6 or 7 hours all told absorbing and taking photos in and around Mom's house while there last week. I wanted to get a better sense than I felt I had of how she lived and struggled and coped with the steady, creeping limitations she endured over her last few years. Many of the photos I took would likely be considered random and/or visually irrelevant -- like taking a picture of your dented fender to show the insurance guy and being the single person on the planet who can identify its purpose and function to anyone years later when discovered in a drawer. For me, the process was educational, cathartic and a necessary part of my own personal closure. There are a few though that through a combination of happy accident and serendipitous lighting strike me as visually pleasant in more than a personal record sort of way. Of course, any other person seeing the same photo might see none of what my jaded and clearly prejudiced eye fools me into seeing. Having said all of that, this is Mom's hat. I vaguely recall having seen a photo or two of her wearing it for the shade value -- Weez has the same sense of familiarity but neither of us can point to a photo and say, "Here it is!" I noticed it perched on the corner of her loveseat when I was nearly to a point of feeling as if I'd captured the essence of what I was after in my picture taking quest. I wanted to include it but I didn't want to move it and it was positioned in a way that made getting a sensible angle difficult or impossible without moving furniture or knocking down a wall. So I went outside onto her small patio and shot back in through the window. All things considered -- it felt right on a number of levels -- Mom is gone now and while her spirit will always be with us, her physical presence and artifacts like this hat will become memories that we occasionally reinforce by looking at photos and sharing stories, etc. This glimpse inside from the outside is just that: a glimpse. As with all glimpses, there is and was so much more. If we can content ourselves with glimpses and memories, perhaps we can safely say we've accepted her (and our own) mortality and carried some of the best of her forward to help us stay focused and grounded and not lose sight of the little things that make each day more than it might have been. That's it for now in terms of my dime-store philosophizing ... Happy Mother's Day !