Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

07 January 2014

#365FeministSelfies and my mother

Today is my mom's birthday. She would had been 58. That's me with her when I was about three years old. That's my puppy in my tiny hands! This is one of my favorite photos of my mom and me. And after she died in 2003, I realized it was one of the few photos I had of us together.

Today the #365FeministSelfie challenge is one week old. Apt that it falls on her birthday because of all the comments/captions I have been reading when people, mostly women, post their photos, the one that stands out is, "I want my kids to have more photos of us together after I'm gone." 
Back to 2003. 
My parents had moved from the Chicago are to North Carolina in 2000. As with any more, things are lost.  I always felt they lost a lot of photos.  And the suckiest part of someone dying is digging through boxes of photos. Can there be a worst time to dive into memory lane? GAWD! So there I was, by the way 6-months pregnant, digging for photos I swear we had. Finding piles of photos from family vacations and seeing photos of myself, my sisters, our dad, and all of us...except my mom. Oh, she'd pop in every once in awhile, but she clearly was the family photographer.
It may have a lot to do with the fact that film was precious. I bought my first digital camera just weeks before she died. She never owned one. When I was 10, I was tasked with taking photos of my newborn cousins. When we developed the film, there were far too many photos of my sisters and me having fun in Seattle and cousin photos didn't meet the ROI. Where today we might take a dozen photos to get it right, she directed us for minutes before she would click the camera. 
The past week has been overwhelming in the response to this challenge. I have met so many new people snapping pics of themselves with their kids, friends, godchildren, cats, dogs, blankets and winter hats. Someone I've never met, Clara, started a Facebook group for sharing photos. ZOMG! And so many of you have written about why you are participating (see sidebar for links). I am touched.
I started the year off thinking that I would like or heart all the photos on Instagram, share messages to the Flickr group. To say thanks for sharing yourselves with me and everyone else. But quite honestly the response has been intense, far more than I expected and since I do have a full-time job, I can't always like your photo. But know I'm trying to keep up!
In coming weeks I will post some theme-challenges to keep us from getting into a rut. If you have ideas on themes, just post in the comments or tweet me.
And if you are "late" to the challenge, jump in! 
 

1 comments:

I am very sorry for the loss of your mother, Veronica. Our family went through a similar photo search when my maternal grandmother passed away in 2003--we could only find a handful of shots of her to share at her memorial service, and the ones we did find usually had her in the background, attending to something else. Thank you for #365FeministSelfie!