She agreed to be photographed with me at my cousin Bettina's wedding in 1998 and again at Eliza's Christening in 2006. I'm not sure where I put the photo from Bettina's wedding but I had it in a frame on top of my dresser for a long time.
I took my mother, the girls and myself out on a boat to watch the fourth of July fireworks. I didn't bring my camera but the boat staff took polaroids of all the guests. The tiny polaroids were then placed in plastic key chains I purchased for $7.00. The keychain is already broken and now the tiny photo is lodged in my wallet where it's sure to get lost.
The stupid thing is, my mother was quite good-looking. She always had a bit of a weight problem but as the handful of photos I've seen of her taken in the 1970s reveal, she was not half as big as she thought she was. There are no photos of her from the 1980s that I know of. Although I was photographed with my friends and with both grandparents at my high school graduation, there aren't any photos of me from that day with either parent.
While we attended my daughter's end of the school year picnic, I tried to take a photo of one of Eliza's classmates with her mother. The mother quickly moved before I could snap the photo and suggested I take a photo of her daughter with another friend. At the time my mother was in the hospital and I suspected or feared bad news and I nearly yelled at the mother, telling her that someday her daughter would treasure these photos.
The new on my mother's health is bad. My cousin was here throughout the 12 hour surgery and to distract and keep me standing for the past few days but now she's gone and I'm alone with my girls while my mother recovers from her marathon surgery in the hospital. She doesn't yet know how bad it is and I don't know when her prognosis will be laid out for her. She will not handle it well, just as I have not.
I've been offered a great job with great people that will dig me out of a financial hole and continue my much needed insurance coverage. But it will require me to be gone from my mother and the girls for too long so I don't think I can do it. I'm not sure if a shorter term job will come along and I might lose my benefits and commit financial suicide on top of losing my mother. But I don't see how I can leave my mother and the kids right now and work 60-70 hour work weeks two hours away when these might be the last few months of her life. Part of me wants to take it for me--I'll be immersed in work, surrounded by my work friends, earning a living and valuable.
But it's just a job and this is the life of my family and life is so much more important to me. So I'm holding out hope that a job that's a better fit will come along and that I won't end up on the street because I'm choosing now to be where I'm truly needed.