Friday, June 5, 2009


As a child, I felt extremely isolated and unloved. I have always admired families that interacted in a loving way and yearned for a family like that. Growing up, I was drawn to TV shows like The Waltons and The Brady Bunch. I would lose myself in books, especially the Laura Ingalls Wilder series. I would have traded modern city living for life on the prairie with Laura and her family in a heartbeat.

I wish I could have had the tools to create that healthy family environment in my real life. But I tried to rush things and have babies too soon. Though I love them all to death, I was ill prepared to deal with the demands. I'll always regret so much about that.

Last week I took on the gargantuan task of scanning my entire photo collection - you know, the ones before the days of digital. There are albums and boxes galore! What good are they doing locked away in a dark closet? Well, I've reacquainted myself with the collection, which has got me all melancholy and reflective this week.

I used to think that my mother was cold and unloving, but looking at our vacation photos made me realize that I must be remembering wrong. Every summer we went somewhere pretty cool with my grandparents and my aunt (my mother's kid sister). I know it must have taken a lot of saving and discipline for a single mother on a tight budget.

Look, my mother is actually holding me close to her side on our trip to Colorado.Although my mother was (is) afraid of germs, I was allowed to pet the goats.

Here are the huge birthday parties my mother would throw for me every year. I would vomit from nervousness before each one. I still get intensely nervous before parties. :/

My mother documented my first day of school at Glen Oaks Elementary in Baton Rouge. There are more, but I don't want to bore you with them. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Milton, was so kind. She knew I had just lost a sister, causing me to start school late, and was especially compassionate.

My mother, industrious soul that she was, always sewed our Christmas and Easter outfits.

So my question is: do photos lie or do memories lie? It might be a bit of both.


Mickey said...

OMG - those old pictures are so great. You are adorable!!! I think that pictures can lie a little, but I think memories lie even more. Many times I've realized that I have remembered something totally wrong. And I think our emotional state at the time can really cloud an event. But the one thing that never lies is our feelings. So if something made you feel really bad, it felt really bad. Period. Whatever reality is, or was, doesn't change that. Life is full of bumps. All we can really do is keep on, keeping on.
(Gee - ain't I deep?) Love ya kid!

Louisiana Belle said...

Thanks, Mickey. That was some very good insight, and yes, DEEP. Haha! You always say the right thing that not only helps people feel better, but adds clarity to just about any situation. Probably all your years at the emergency clinic dealing with every kook that walked through the doors. You're amazing.