This is my mom, Eileen. She was probably 5 or 6, placing this photo right about 1950. It is undated but the back has details about the colorization. I “appropriated” this photo when I was packing up my grandmother’s house. For as long as I can remember it sat in a corner cabinet at the end of the hallway. You could easily walk past it and not even notice it among the tchotchkes and beads that my grandmother hung on a specially made holder my grandpa made.
I always noticed this photo when I’d visit my grandparent’s home. There were many photos of my mom around, but this one has always captivated me. Originally shot in black and white, the fact that my grandparents had it colorized always intrigued me. I’ve asked my grandma what made her decide to colorize it but she doesn’t remember. That was over 60 years ago.
I don’t have a lot of photos of my mom. She didn’t like her photo taken. She didn’t feel beautiful. She was. My mom had a great smile, which she shared a lot despite the challenges she dealt with daily. Her eyes sparkled when you looked at her. The last time I saw my mom, she was in a coma. Her eyes would open periodically and that sparkle was still there.
She wasn’t here when I became a mom, which is why my daughter shares her middle name.
Mother’s Day is a day we celebrate the women who gave us life, the women we are because of our children, and the other phenomenal women who mother, teach, and love us unconditionally.
While I miss my mom terribly, I am fortunate to have a heart filled with the love of so many other women who also taught me about the love of motherhood.
If, like me, you find Mother’s Day a challenge, I hope you know that you are loved and with time the heart will heal and seal in all the wonderful memories.