i’ve been out of the loop of self-portrait tuesday for a bit…
today i did some digging in my little shoebox of photos (i have in total 5 photos that i have borrowed from the family collection and i am holding 2). i’m not going to post them, but one is of my long haired dad holding me when i was about 6 months in the palm of his hand (he was a big guy), and me looking perplexed. the other is of my grammie and i at my pre-school graduation when i was 5 eating cake.
since i was wee, i remember pouring over photos. always disorganized in big boxes in the attic, which in my later years was right next to my bedroom on the 3rd floor. i felt like i was an archeologist digging for clues to my past that felt pretty sealed up, for want of moving on.
my dad died in a car accident when i was 1 and 1/2. my grammie who was his mom and a great support after his death, died when i was five. i miss them both and they had a formative impact on who i am today, this i know. they are part of me. the missing is part of me. i feel like i have healed from their loss at different points in my life, but it is like an onion constantly being peeled and re-peeled when big life events take place, the core is still with me. it is a core of resilliance, fragility, wonder and tenderness. it also is truth be told a source of guilt… like now, why am i even dwelling on those gone so long ago and not giving kudos to those here? that is the voice of someone who suppressed her feelings for so long.
who would i be if they had lived? i don’t know. ultimately, i’ll never know, so i choose to see it that their losses have taught me to be more present, more alive and appreciate all that i have and have given me the ability to empathize and feel a wider continuim of grief and joy.
i think i’m sometimes hard on myself for not having it together yet and being such a little kid still, and then even as i’m writing this, i realize that maybe i’m doing the playing now that i missed a bit (not that i didn’t have my fare share, but you know).
it’s a weird decision to write something so personal in a public place, but it is yet another way to mend and share from each other, no? we all have our pain and different ways of coping. i choose to share my story here.
the picture i am going to post is one i have framed in the room i write this in of my grammie and papa (who passed a few years ago coincidentally during day of the dead when we were celebrating it in oaxaca, mexico) and my mom staring down at me so dearly, and me so happy. my engagement ring shown is the one i wear daily from my grammie dear. xoxo