It’s grainy, and the color is bad, but this photograph means the world to me.
I grew up in a time before digital photography, and as a family, we took shockingly few pictures. Two divorces and a foreclosure reduced that number even further. Scattered the family photos to the wind. As a result, there are few surviving photographs from my childhood and even fewer of my mother, who died in 2007.
My brother (pictured on the right) has this photograph, which I had never seen before. He posted it on Facebook the other day, and when I saw it, I was brought to tears.
I still am whenever I look at it.
It was like an unexpected visit from Mom.
It’s also an image from the brief period of time when my family was still together. When life was simple. When I had a mom and a dad and a brother and a sister, and I can’t remember ever feeling worry or sadness. I see the little boy who I once was, slouching against his tiny mother’s frame, and I remember how safe I once felt being with her.
It’s a grainy image, but I can see my mother perfectly. I remember her face, her hair, her hands, and even her voice; that youthful, singsong voice before the combination of smoking and muscular dystrophy altered it.
All of it came back to me when I saw this photograph. The past rushed in, filled me, and for a moment, made me feel like that little boy with his mother.
I miss my mother, and I miss the boy I used to be.