It is funny how your memory works. Sometimes we look at a picture and remember the exact moment when it was taken.
I was not happy, that much is obvious.
I loved this dress, it was one of my favourites. Loved everything about it, the little buttons, the pretty flowers, the length.
But I only got to use it on special occasions which I was never happy about. My mother believed that new clothes should only be worn when she thought it would be justified. Like going to mass, visiting family, going to the movies, birthday parties, Easter, Christmas, New Year… You get the point.
But then I was growing up fast and I ended up not wearing the clothes too many times, which always frustrated me. I could never get the logic!
So on this day my older siblings decided we should make a photo session. It was a hot summer day, my parents were out and we were just enjoying the sun and relaxing. I’m the youngest of six children, my older siblings were already in their twenties.
They decided it would be better to take the pictures in the front garden, a favourite spot. The back garden was also beautiful, with vines, fruit trees and amazing flowers.
I’m sitting near the entrance and behind me you can see a bit of the lush vegetation we had. My father was a wonderful gardener who spent hours one on one with nature. Everything grew so fast under his loving care. I’m happy I inherited some of his talent …
My older sister had told me earlier I could put my favourite dress for the picture. I was thrilled but then stopped and asked for the confirmation “I can keep it the rest of the day right?” “No”, she said. “You know how mother gets so after the photo you have to take it off”. I was heartbroken. I even tried refusing to take the picture but they didn’t want to hear it.
So the only thing left to be done, in protest, was to show exactly how I felt. I ignored the pleas for a smile and even the attempts to make me laugh. The camera captured exactly how my 8 year old self was feeling.
I can’t remember what became of the dress. Long gone are also most of the bushes, trees and flowers. The walls are still standing proud but they now belong to another.
My parents are no more. Left are the memories of those summer days and the echoes of the laughters, fights and family meals …
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