Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grainy Photo Tells The Whole Picture

This is little me. Perhaps at 18 months. It was shot on Lucchetti Street in Condado, Puerto Rico in the early 60's. A few steps from the blue Atlantic waters of Puerto Rico's north coast. The photo was probably taken by Mami (Mom). She loved cameras, specially Super 8 video cameras. Not many of the Super 8 film have survived the ravages of the high humidity of the tropics. There are about 5 or 6 cans I gave to my sister previous to me moving to Texas. It will probably be too costly to have the film digitalized. So maybe one day I'll find someone that will do the job without charging me to much. I have many pictures of the family with me. I did not want to loose them. They are my ties with the past. These pictures have gone through 3 major hurricanes, floods and at least 10 or 11 relocations. They've been to New England, Florida and to Texas. They are bittersweet. They are part of my history. Now my mother is gone, I am an adult orphan so to speak. These pictures, about 500 of them are my life line in these days battling depression. This photo in particular reminds me that I was a little child once, that all I cared about was being loved. Mine was a tight family. I grew up with an extended family of nearly 20 people. Grandparents, uncles, first cousins. Our family gathering seemed so big, so happy, so joyful. I miss these times miserably. All of my elders have passed away. The loss of Mami last March has been the hardest thing I have gone through. I'm doing my very best to move on. I never thought It would hit me so hard. Each day is a challenge without her presence and constant advice. I do feel a part of me died with her. We were the closest of friends. I lived with her most of my adult life. I only moved out of her apartment 2 years before she died. I want it to try total independence at 44, if you can believe that. Boy, do I wish to hold her right now and tell her how much I loved her and how much she meant in my life. I'm content in the fact that our love was expressed on a daily basis. I'm lucky in that. I love life and people, I want to get back to do the things I always wanted to do. I feel regret that she will not be there with me to share my future. I know it is the rule of life that your mother dies before you do. I guess I'm just going through the mourning period. Most days I'm OK, I survive. But other days I'm shocked that I cannot phone her or visit her at her apartment anymore. As much as I try to be philosophical about this matter I cannot do it. I miss her terribly. This photo also reminds me that I was brought up by two very caring parents and four devoted grandparents. This photo shows the very first time I learned how to walk. Ironically, I'm learning to walk again on my own after this great loss.


willow said...

You are so very fortunate to have had such a close and loving relationship with your mother. I envy you.

Cute, cute pic of little you! I love and cherish my old family photos.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I'll bet that your mother would want you to move on and find happiness in life. I know it is difficult, but it would most likely have been more difficult for her if you had gone before her. I, too, had a wonderful extended family of grandparents and aunts. I was very close to my mother's youngest sister & I was devastated when she died. My mother died 5 years ago on New Year's Eve...she was 96 and I still miss being able to call her on the phone.
You were a cute little kiddo. I need to dig out some of my family photos. Hang in there.

Janelle said...

a huge warm compassionate hug. losing ones mother is never easy. my dear mum died in a car crash when i was seventeen. she was the warmeset wisest person on the planet and taught me so much. its over twenty years now, since she died and still it seems like yesterday. i still miss her. but her departure has taught me the biggest bestest lesson in life, and that is impermanence. and the shortness and sweetness of life, which is there to be LIVED every inch of the way. the pain of the loss is to be embraced and become part of who you are. it is there to teach you compassion for others. embrace it. you are a wonderful wonderful person. your mother taught you well. how sweet it is to be loved. big hug vaquero. ride on, ride on. xxx j

Rab said...

You said a part of you died with her. I can empathize with the sentiment. I think you will also realize that a part of her lives on in you. Whatever your metaphysical beliefs, you can see that you are uniquely able to carry on your mother's care for others, the wisdom she cultivated, and those qualities that only you can articulate, having known her for so long.

By being with and sharing with other people, you give them the gift of her love and wisdom. It can't be otherwise; the root of your most human emotions are founded in your interactions with her.

Along with being your own person, you are driven by motivations that she initiated years before. She can no longer act physically, but you can; and in doing so you are the continuation of her essence in the world. To have someone who cares enough to continue where we leave off; that is among the greatest gifts we can give to another person.

You will walk again, and you will run.

Natalie said...

Rab, you are a beautiful and wise person.

TPC you are too, and that is why you were given the gift of your mother. I am not meaning to brush aside your pain here, just to celebrate her. :)

Lovely of you to share your story, and unlike your co workers - your blog friends care, and would be most honoured to celebrate with you.

jw said...

for your super-8. just find a projector, project them and film them from the screen, or wall, or sheet with a video camera. doesn't cost anything and works very well

The Pink Cowboy said...

Willow- Thank you for your sentiments.

Lizzy- It's true, Mom was a fighter and she would've love to see me go ahead in life.

Janelle- I'm taking your wonderful advice to heart. Every second we have a chance to be happy.

Rab- I appreciate your very wise words. My mom is in me , in everything I do, and most important in the way I show kindness and love to other people.

Natalie- You are a very tender person. Thank you for your empathy.

jw- I'll follow your technichal advise, simple.

willow said...

Hey, just had to come over and tell you how much I like your new profile pic! wow...handsome and mysterious, daaaaling!

The Pink Cowboy said...

Hey Willow I'm a Libra and Scorpio cusp both intriguing and and pleasing ha ha! Thank you for your compliment ;-)

Joy said...

You were fortunate to have a close relationship with your mother.

I didn't have a son which I regret, but I do have a daughter and a grandson who make up for that.

I wish you peace and comfort in your grief.


energizeyour life said...

Hey Pink Cowboy, I feel the same way, I remember when you used to tell me, it must be so hard to have your mother gone, and you used to say, I can't imagine it.

I never imagined it, we never imagine it, I always thought I was never going to make it without my mother, it's the hardest thing I've experienced, a piece of my heart is gone with her, it's horrible. I wish I could still have her and most of my family as well. I wish I asked more questions about their past, about how they lived when they were growing up. I also miss my aunt and godmother, she was like the grandma I didn't have, sometimes I think whenever I cross to the other world I will see my mom again. Sometimes you must feel a sense of emptiness, I feel exactly what you feel, my mother was my best friend just like yours. I think adult life is tough and being an orphan at any age is awful. Just the fact that your role of mama's little boy, or daddy's little boy has disappeared, breaks anyone's heart, now we are by ourselves. Well anyway, you now have to look out for your wellbeing and your own happiness, remember she is better than us and will be protecting you always. Someone told me this long time ago, I don't know if it's true or not, that when people die, they have more energy to protect their love ones here on the material world. I don't know how true this statement is ,but I hope it's true because I have lots of protection from the spirit world and so do you, Pink Cowboy
blessings and keep going, remember all the teachings your mom left you and the beautiful values

nollyposh said...

i felt exactly the same way when i lost my dad X:-( and cried everyday for a year and do you know what i discovered? That that little child inside was mourning... i used to boo hoo all that inner child stuff (Hogwash!!!) until one day i closed my eyes and found a little child crying and alone... i couldn't believe such a young child could feel so bad and hugged her... That simple instinctive act changed something in me, i think i started to heal from that moment on... x

(Ps) i also discovered that my dad never really left my side and THAT was something ~wonderful~ to discover... i'm sure that it is true of your mother too (((hugz))) vicki x

Anonymous said...

TPC-This was a very emotional post for me, I understand you completely. If I knew my natural mother it would have an even greater pull.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Pink Cowboy, my heart goes out to you.

I think Rab's words are very wise too and empathize so much with what Janelle says about living life every inch of the way.

Brenda Heisler said...

That post made me cry. Very sweetly written. May you find comfort in knowing that you expressed your love for her so many times in the past. All she would wish of you now, is that you live your life in a way that would honor her. Smile with happy memories when you think of her.