For this week’s post I’m looking at some of the pictures of Norma before she met my dad and started a family. I’ll start out with this one that I am not actually sure whether it is from before. It could have been after she became Norma Richard, but it is pasted on to a cardboard surface that says POLAROID, and most of those are older. The hair, the smile, the necklace, the dress, this is an amazing picture. Not to mention the pink speckled wall paper, and it looks like someone was also going through photos on the table to the right. I love this one too, because I see the mother I knew and this younger Norma that I didn’t.
Let’s now go a bit further back in time to a weird classroom, where she and few younger students stand obediently with a Virgin Mary statue. This picture both makes me laugh and baffles me.
I know she was religious, but this is so far from the questioning, challenging, opinionated mother I knew, although the smiles on their faces are a bit playful while at prayer.
And then this one that catches her in thought as she eats her lunch at school. There seem to be fewer candid photos, when photography was print only. I appreciate the person who captured this moment for whatever reason.
Another one that seems so young is from her visit to Washington D.C. It’s her in front of the White House! Postcards in hand. She later helped me find the money to take a trip to D.C. when I was in 8th grade, because she had travelled there and it had made an impression on her. My mother was certainly political. I’m sure she would have a lot to say about our current administration. As long as I can remember, the U.S. flag was not something to hold up and be proud. We had none in our house. I feel the same way now.
Here’s a series of her with dates (I think). The first two look like she’s with her prom date. Interestingly you can see the shadow of the photographer in the second photo. The third looks like a character. Her expression confirming this. It doesn’t look very romantic to me. Maybe a friend or relative?
I want to end this 6th post thanking everyone who has added details, corrections, and stories. It is much appreciated and please, keep them coming. Others have shared how speaking/writing about people they have lost is necessary and helpful. My weekly reflections about my mother have already made me feel closer to her. It’s almost like a weekly visit, being intentional, looking at details. And there is so much more to say.