I slipped into the realm of memory the other day. My laptop was heartbreakingly slow, and warnings of low memory haunted my screen. After deleting many things, I knew I could not put off delving into my photos for much longer. I would have to delete some photos for the sake of my speed. No important pictures, just screenshots, extra photos, and things like that.
My photo album on my laptop, is a cache. It is a cache of photos from everyone in my family. To slip into those 13,000 photos, I relive days I buried.
When I took Mums iPad to university, I moved her photos onto my laptop. So the very first photo is my lovely mum in a blue ballgown, taken on the 14th of September, 2013. I would have been 13. The royal blue of Mum’s dress brightens and flaunts her clear blue eyes. A faint, hesitant smile has only aged 7 years with fondness and love. Her hair is short, and slightly messy. I love it, but I can imagine mum brushing her fingers through it only moments beforehand.
When I write this, and when I went through those photos, I cannot express the pain I felt as this beautiful, calming figure slips away past my reach, as I get further through my photos.
I don’t cry, because I think my pain has surpassed that. I am not even sad, this pain comes from joy, of discovering my mother all over again. In a new way, a private way. A way that is not my mother, but who is, at that time, a 47 year old fierce woman.
I have found myself avoiding my photos, because of the inevitable moment where pictures of Mum, Katie and Evee, become Katie and Evee. The only addition being glassy eyes and dark circles painting our faces. I wish I could go back and give us a hug. Nothing else. I would love to give us a moment to realise we would get through this.
I saw flashed through these photos, some that other close friends had sent my mum, and for a moment, I feel that once so familiar spike of anger, before it falls in a flood sadness. How were they sending such happy, smiling pictures from halfway across the world, when my mum, my mum, received those pictures knowing what we knew, and being so sick? They also knew what we knew.
The flood of sadness empties into a sea of peace. I know how far I have come to have acceptance over these situations.
I am proud, deathly proud, of who I am now. I have love and a connection with Katie that is stronger than anything else. I am an incredibly reflective person, but after looking through my cache – my time capsule – I have every right to be.