I know it’s a silly thing to feel sad about, there are many bigger issues in the world, but I feel so sad that my mother would never let me take photos of her with my sons.
She would not pose for a photo, and would put her hand up or turn away when I tried to get a candid snap. I begged her over and over again, pleading with her to let me have photos so that if the time came when she wasn’t around anymore her grandsons would have photos of her to remember her by.
Before our photos were destroyed in an accident, I didn’t have any photos of me with her growing up either and it hurt. I cherish images and felt so sad there were none with my mum.
I know people are camera shy, I hate my photo being taken too. I look fat, ugly, have a double chin, pimples, and so on, we all can find faults in our photographic likenesses I’m sure. But there are plenty of photos of me with our children because they see their mum, they say I look pretty and I know they mean it. The photos aren’t for me, my vanity comes second to them knowing they were loved and the memories they get to cherish.
The thing that hurts me though is that when I took a look at my mother’s Facebook page recently, it is filled of public images of her on cruises and in various exotic locations where she has taken holidays, and with “important” people. She is proud of all these photos and the locations she’s in, smiling at the camera with her Ship Captain, or in front of a famous building.
There is only one photo of her with her grandsons taken around 5 years ago. One. Miserable. Photo.
They aren’t important enough for her to smile at the camera and give them a special memory. Not prestigious enough, no, they are just 2 little boys who have loved her until their hearts couldn’t take anymore, and when they finally saw her flaws, they expired like an old film when the light is let in.
Her daughter (me) who won national and international awards and write ups in magazines and blogs for her photography wasn’t good enough to be allowed to point a camera at her.
There are no cherished memories of proud moments with my mother. Just a mental image of a narcissist, which is far longer lasting and damaging than even the most unflattering of photographs could ever be.
But lovingly hung on our wall is a photo of my Dad and the boys, he was sick and wasting away, but he loved them and never missed an opprtunity to give them a moment of himself in a photograph.