I began this blog weeks after my mother's passing to honor her, to vent my grief, and to bind myself, my siblings and my father, by sharing pictures and memories of our family. My brother, Michael (the infant in Jerry's lap, in this picture, who is blocked by Billy's head) had put together a CD of family pictures that contained quite a few from when the family lived in France the year I was born and some of my favorite shots of her were from that time period. My mother is so closely associated with France in my mind. I began to read about the French history that she loved as a way to hang on to her and then vented all of that on the blog. Venting is important, necessary for me. There's a lot going on in my head! Recently, my brother, Don (forefront of this picture) sent us each a CD he had made from old family slides, most of which I'd not seen, and it's like being given pieces of my mother, my childhood, my original family, that I'd never had before. Priceless.
The pictures of my parents, before my father's eight years of isolation and torture, are so full of innocence and love. They don't look like the parents of seven children. (In the picture above, on the ship, they are the parents of five.) I'm thinking it might be because they didn't micromanage our daily lives and kept theirs, as a couple, strong and intact. "Children should be seen, not heard." My mother's sister told me that from the day my mother met my father, when she was a Catholic schoolgirl, there was never anyone else. It shows in the pictures of them together.
The second to last picture is my mother in Newport with Mary, her seventh, and last, child. The icing on the cake.
Mom looks like a girl in this bottom picture. A girl with five children.