As I’ve said before, my mom passed away 20 days after I turned 21. It was 1992, and I had seen her only once since January when I came home on leave after completing my A. I . T. training with the U. S. Army. That was probably sometime around June or July en route to my first duty station in Missouri. She didn’t know I was coming home for sure. Our main communication was through mail… snail mail, so in all likelihood, I beat my own letter home. I remember walking into her bedroom in the middle of the afternoon only to find her napping. The only times I remember her taking frequent naps were during her times of depression. (I only know that now looking back… you know? Hindsight? 20/20?)
I wished I would have known that would have been one of the last times I’d see my mother alive. I wished I had had the ability to hone in on her anguish, her pain, and her battles with mental illness. I wish I had had the ability to save her sweet life.
I only had 21 years to build memories with my mom and seven of those were teenage years; I’m not even sure those count. Boy, what I wouldn’t give to re-do some of those times. So, each time I come across something that belonged to my mother or reminds me of my mother, it’s a wonderful gift. It’s a chance to remember her, and long for her, and appreciate her legacy. And not that I don’t do that daily… what I’m talking about here is extra… bonus!!
Earlier this week, I received one of those bonus gifts. My dear Aunt Helen from Georgia mailed me some cards that had some sort of significance to my mother’s baptism in 1951. Opening them up, looking at them, and feeling them in my hands made me feel a direct connection to this day in my mother’s life. The paper feels frail and weak. The edges are tattered slightly. The colors seem to have faded. These cards are at least 62-years-old, and they smell like it. They are my newest heirlooms. I love them! I’m 43 and I miss my mom!
With exception to the Holy cards, I have to note two things. Number one, I really don’t know what the other cards are. They appear to be some sort of “storybook” because they are numbered. The packaging indicates there are eight but I only have seven. I would guess they tell a Bible story but being that I was raised as a Catholic, I rarely opened a Bible. Well… that’s how Catholicism went in my house anyway. The other thing I don’t know who Adeline Korus is. On the backs of the Holy cards, Adeline is listed as the Godmother and Adolph is listed as the Godfather. Though, the strange thing about that is that my Uncle Adolph did marry a Madeline… Madeline Metzger. I guess he liked names ending in “adeline.” I find it funny that neither spelled “baptized” correctly. Also worth mentioning, my mother’s birthdate is listed incorrectly on the Godfather’s card. She was born June 11, not June 1 (or 7—not sure what that says).
Any how, if you know anything about these cards or anything about my mom’s Godmother, I’d love to hear it! In the mean time, be positive, be happy, be healthy, and don’t forget to be photographed.
(**This search revealed that, “It is very rare to find full sets of these wonderful, whimsical illustrations by Jacques Gouppy. Jacques Gouppy was a prolific illustrator of postcards, collectible stamps, holy cards, books, Christmas and greeting cards, and illustrations such as these. His work spans from the 1920s through 1950s.”)
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I am a professional photographer who enjoys documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I enjoy watching my daughter play softball, hiking, cycling, reading, and listening to Elvis!
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