The Small Photograph

She wouldn’t have approved, but she was asleep and I was sitting on the plastic-clad love-seat that the hospital provided for visitors.  The same sofa that gave me this perspective:

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I took the last picture of her.  It’s my secret (or as secret as it can be when I’ve just blogged about it).  I didn’t tell my sisters or my grandmother.  I’m not going to post it here.  I don’t even know why I took it – this little comma of a woman with an eye-mask on to keep the sunlight out as she slept.  I most emphatically did not take a picture of her dead, or even in the days before she died but after she’d left the building.

But when there was still something on her to-do list, when she was storing up the strength to get on the radiation table the next day, curled around the knowledge that she’d been invited to her last party, her last dinner, her last graduation, her last birth, her last wedding…  Bravery in breathing.

In every literal way, that’s the last photograph of my mother.  But in a way, this is a picture of her too:

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The Small Photograph

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