Monday, October 24, 2022

The Circle Game

I continue to sort through boxes from my parents' house.  Slowly, I am making headway.  A large box, full of binders, has travel mementos from their trips abroad, including Australia, Hungry, France and the South Seas.  They had a very good traveling life that lasted for a couple of decades.  Very few personal photos in these binders, but I look through all of them so I don't miss any gems.  Then they go in the trash.  I doubt that even my parents looked at these binders over the last 30 years.  The receipts for hotel rooms or cups of tea mean nothing to me.  Occasionally there will be a photo of them together, and I save those.

I found this photo of me when I was sixteen.  My dad took it at our house in Carmel.  The sea shell necklace was made by a boyfriend, who dropped me at the end of a summer romance because I wouldn't 'sleep' with me.  I didn't feel ready and I stuck to my guns.  He didn't want to wait.  Oh, hormones.

This photo is my mother in 1960, when she was twenty-five.  They already had three children by then.  We were living on Rio Road, just down the street from the Carmel Mission. 

I forget how beautiful she was.  The last twenty years of life were hard on her.  Parkinson's is a terribly cruel disease.  She had beautiful handwriting which deteriorated significantly. She loved to read books, making regular trips to the library all throughout my childhood.  Her eyesight failed her for her last decade and that delightful past time was lost to her.  It helps me to remember that she once was young and strong and led an interesting life.  She had smarts, and talent, and being a young mother in the 1960s was restrictive.  She took the traditional role of wife and mother, and wasn't always very happy about it.  They played bridge with friends, took us kids on a lot of field trips, and did a fine job overall even though they were excessively young.  

Going through all these old photos makes my mind reel a bit. Have all those years really flown by so quickly?  Still many boxes to go, and who knows what other gems I will find.

5 comments:

  1. Good that you're looking before tossing. I had to do the same, with many photos of unknown people, as well as multiples of new babies (me for instance) in my parents' albums. You and your mom look so beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Tara: Yes, I'm afraid of tossing something amazing, so I give a look. A couple of decades from mow (hopefully) my daughter will go through the same process!

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  2. I inherited all my Mom's photos when she died. She also had Parkinson's for many years. Looking at the old photos of her as a younger, vibrant woman was comforting to me. P.S. you had the absolute best hair as a young woman. Mine is curly and your "hair-do" was the one I always wished I could have had in the 1960s.

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    Replies
    1. Tara: Isn't Parkinson's the worst? My husband died of it as well. Yes, straight long hair was the deal back then. A few years after this photo, I had it cut very short and permed into tight curls. Seems that we want what we don't naturally have!

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  3. 37paddington:
    Old photos are such treasures, evoking such memories. You and your mom are lovely. My mom had Parkinson’s at the end too. It robbed her of so much, but photos help me recall all the vibrant years before that. How quickly it all passes by.

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