A good snapshot stops a moment from running away. ~Eudora Welty
It wasn’t the best photo, but this particular picture did indeed stop the moment from running away: this photo was the last one I ever took of my mom on April 27, 2016, when we ventured out to go wig shopping at the wig shop that catered to cancer patients.
Little did I know that in exactly three months and one day she would be gone. What I did know is how much fun we had sharing the joy of dodging puddles and laughing under the umbrella as a light rain came down. I remember the weight of her body leaning against mine as we made our way into the shop.
My Mom would be mortified knowing I shared this photo: she didn’t want photos taken of her with cancer and she didn’t like this particular wig as she favored another style and color. “Anything but gray, Karen!” she had exclaimed as we pondered over the various lengths and cuts.
I, however, loved how the gray color of the wig warmed up her face and how the style was so close to her own before the side effects from chemo took its toll. It provided me with a glimpse of my Mom in her pre-cancer days. I had already begun to miss her and was worried about losing her. This photo seems like a lifetime ago.
July 28th marked the 2nd Anniversary of her death. Since then, my oldest started high school, my youngest started middle school. I hang out with my Dad on a regular basis. I hiked Half Dome last September and will hike it again this September. My husband and I are now two years past our silver wedding anniversary. I started a blog and am now writing a book. The sun still rises, the sun still sets. Life goes on.
While it’s not the same without her, each day gets easier and when I come across photos of her, there is an ache of longing to talk to her again.
I am grateful for this last photo: I remember that day being close to normal as possible; it brings me back to a moment in time that I can remember when my Mom was just my Mom: happy, healthy, and cancer-free. A perfect photo for me.