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.