The Long Way Home


Secret History
September 9, 2011, 6:40 AM
Filed under: Vintage Photo Album | Tags: , , ,

my mother and my godmother, 1971

In the immediate months after my mother died, I spent a lot of time with her through ephemera – old letters and greeting cards, scraps of paper where she jotted down her thoughts. The most painful to look through was the most recent evidence of her everyday life: doctor appointments scheduled in her day planner; a copy of The Awakening still in a Barnes and Noble bag; the new watch she got for Christmas from my aunt Lorraine, still ticking next to her glasses on the kitchen table. It is much easier for me to reach into her past, to understand her life from where it began so I can understand how it ended. And as these months go on, I’m realizing that it will be a life long process, that most of what I discover will be of my imagination, filling in the blanks because she is not here to answer my questions. And also knowing that even if she were here, that I would still be filling those blanks because she kept so many secrets. I find photos like the one above, hidden behind other photos in their frames. It makes me laugh because she is so happy and beautiful, and curious because it’s hard to imagine that only a few years after this picture was taken, she became my mother.

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8 Comments so far
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That’s a great photo. Do you have any idea what they were up to?

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Comment by thevintagetraveler

Thanks, Lizzie!
My mother and her friend modeled occasionally for a young photographer who was trying to build his portfolio for his business. The studio name is stamped on the back – Vyvian Studios. It has the address as well, and I did a google map search on it. It looks like a residence, but I am so curious to see what exactly is there now. That may be a post sometime.

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Comment by Lisa

It’s interesting that she kept photos hidden behind other photos and how you’re getting to know a different side of her through these discoveries. What a great photo of your mom having some fun times.

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Comment by farmhouse stories

it goes in waves for me – some days I want to go through these things and others, it’s too painful. I feel a little worn out, but at the same time, recharged. So many things.

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Comment by Lisa

what a brilliant picture. i love reading about your process of discovery with your. every entry i read makes me want to call you up, invite you over for a glass of wine and simply chat about her. my lack of my own mom stuff makes me crave this even more. keep up the good work.

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Comment by motherblue212

*mother. Sorry, I left that word out.

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Comment by motherblue212

There is so much to tell, but I’m not sure how much to share via Internet — a glass of wine night is in order. I want to hear your mom stories too.

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Comment by Lisa

Let’s make it happen.

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Comment by motherblue212




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