Monday, August 20, 2018

Mother's Dreams

When this photo was taken my mother was young and single.   She had no way to predict that she would be granted ninety-three years of life on this planet or be partner in a marriage that lasted over fifty years, ending only with the death of my father.  She could have had no idea she would carry ten babies under her heart, but see only eight of them survive her.
She is so young in this photograph.  The slight smile on her face and the gleam in her eyes hint at a heart filled with dreams.  I will never know what those dreams were.  Never know how many of them came true.  I can guess that having grown up an orphan she was anxious to get out into the world to make a life of her own, but she never told me that.  She offered very few glimpses into the life she had led before this photo was taken.

On summer nights we used to sit on the front stoop and look at the stars.  She often talked about the dreams she had for my future.  The world was moving fast then, and she saw fantastic changes in technology coloring the world I would know.  She would make outrageous predictions, and we would laugh.  As the laughter faded and she grew quiet, her gaze would return to the stars.  We would sit quietly each lost in our thoughts.  How many of her thoughts were of the young girl in this photograph and the dreams in her heart?  She would not say, and I would never know.


  1. There's just something about photos of our parents when they were young, isn't there? Before they became the people we got to know, when everything was wide open for them. More and more, I feel that way now when I look at photos of myself when I was young. They seem to be from a long ago time, even as the years have passed so swiftly, and I find myself wondering what it was that young girl wanted and how she would feel about what she ended up getting. She is me, but she also feels like someone not-me.

    1. You gave me goosebumps. I saw my sister last weekend and she passed me a box of photos she recently came across in things from my parents' house. It is filled with photos of me growing up and of photos I sent of them of my young & growing family. I have just started dividing them into stacks for my own kids, and am moving so slowly because I end up looking at each photo far too long recalling the times and dreams represented in each stage of life. Doesn't it feel like it has gone by too swiftly? And yet looking into the faces--my parents, my children, myself--I also feel like they are from a very hazy past that is somehow separate from me as well. It's all a bit surreal, and it leaves me feeling vaguely vulnerable.


Penny for your thoughts.