Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday: Personal History #2

After my grandmother passed away last Spring, my mom spent weeks going through the house: sorting, organizing, putting things in order. As you can imagine it was a gigantic task and each day brought small discoveries which filled her with every conceivable emotion. One morning she was working in my grandparents' bedroom and inside one of the dresser drawers she found this little hinged wooden box, a 2 inch cube, decoratively carved and delicately painted. Inside was this photograph, a perfect fit nuzzled within the box's golden interior. My reaction upon receiving this surely must have mirrored my mother's upon finding it. Tears flowed freely as I cast my eyes on this secret treasure, long forgotten inside its hiding place, carefully pressed there long ago by the woman I so achingly miss.

I don't remember the exact taking of this photo, but I remember many days that it could have been. We'd taken the bus downtown (my mom, grandma and I), browsed around some stores, stopped for ice cream at the mezzanine of Lippman's department store, and headed across the street to Woolworth's for some little trinket for me. There we stepped into the photo booth and the moment was frozen, recorded forever in black and white. I usually took pictures with my mom or dad, or later with my brother, or much later with my friends. I didn't know I ever took one with her. I don't know what happened to the rest of the series. We probably divided them up and I used tape to stick them to my mirror, or the wall next to my bed. But what I like best about this one is the way her whole beautiful face smiles. On the outside she could be very shy, and didn't really like having her picture taken. In most of our family photos she's looking to the side or off into the distance, although always with a smile. But this is the real her. This is exactly the face I see in my minds eye when I think of her. The most beautiful, loving, smiling, laughing, sparkling, elegant, graceful face. And I really, really miss it.

10 comments:

Poppy said...

What a wonderful tribute. You are truly using the internet as a beautiful journal of your special life. How can we make it permanent, burn it to a disk?
I worry that if blogspot ever goes away it will be lost. Please get your high-tech husband or brother to help figure out a way to archive these entries in a permanent way. I too miss that woman with all my heart as does Mom. We talk about her every single day. We also miss the Chocolate Lounge at Lipman-Wolfe.
Did you know that both Mom's grandmother and my grandmother each worked there? Not the Chocolate Lounge, Lipman-Wolfe. In fact, Irene, Dee's Mom, actually knew the Cinnamon Bear personally.
Love, Poppy

hannah said...

what an amazing find! so glad you can add it to your own treasures and that you can enjoy the memories and sensations that it sparks.

beki said...

What a treasure you found!

rebecca said...

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Your dad is right, you need to find a way to permanently archive your blog!

megan said...

This photo just resonates with love.Very touching.

jojo* said...

What a sweet and loving tribute to your grandmother. She looks like she is thoroughly enjoying her time with you. What a precious photograph.

Have you heard of blogbinders.com? I've never used them and don't know anyone else who has, but they can turn your blog into a book. Might be worth looking into.

Berly's Blog said...

That is so incredible that your mom found that picture. I am so happy that you have it. What a wonderful keepsake! I was also very close with my grandmother and I have a picture of the two of us that I will cherish forever like I am sure you will cherish this photo.

andrea said...

oh wow, I love this. I saw this on flickr (the SPT group) and it struck me then. wanted to comment on how much I loved it but who knows what happened (I'm easily distracted in the world of flickr)... and oh how I love the story that you have written here as well! what a treasure this is... both the photobooth pic and the way in which it was discovered! I have a similar story that I will post on photobooth friday soon... (I know you will appreciate it)

so glad you're on board for photobooth friday! yay! I've linked you up. can't wait to see what you post next...!

Alicia said...

You are both beautiful!

madness rivera said...

The photo is gorgeous and the story so sweet.