This old photo of my mom and me was a Christmas gift from my niece and nephew, and is one of the most meaningful, emotional, and touching gifts I’ve ever received. After my mom died in 2009, one of the first things we all did was take the boxes of slides and movies, framed photos, and dozens of photo albums out of my mom’s house, which is where my niece discovered this photo. It’s not a perfect photo (notice my closed eyes!) but it was THE perfect gift.
It was taken 30 years ago during the winter of my senior year of high school, and until this past Christmas I had forgotten it even existed. It was a difficult time in our lives..my parents had separated at the end of my junior year, my mom moved to Virginia with my brother, and I stayed with my dad in Maryland so that I could finish my last year of high school. I saw my mom a couple times a month, but it just wasn’t the same as living with her every day. I missed my mom and I was angry at my dad most of the time, but the up-side of the situation was that I learned to appreciate my mom much more, and we grew closer than we’d ever been. This photo brought back so many memories of that time in my life, and is a reminder of the special relationship my mom and I shared.
One of the things my mom and I had in common was our love for photography. The camera hanging on my arm in the photo is the first “good camera” my mom handed down to me, which is now sitting on a shelf in my office right next to the framed print they gave me. The horses in the photo are our horse and her baby..also rather fitting. I can’t thank Rachael and Sam enough for this gift, and it’s evidence of how important and powerful photos are, especially when we look back at them years later.