When we were visiting my parents back in October, I helped my mom clean out their storage space. There were so many knick knacks I probably could have kept, but there were two photo albums I had my eyes on.
I was 16 at the time. It was the summer before we moved to Canada. My mom spent 3 months of her salary and bought us an outdoor photo session with two gorgeous leather albums. At the time, I remember thinking, this is sooooo stupid. I had to wear a dress! Somebody please hang me. Can you imagine me in a dress? Ugh. The stupid photographer made me do stupid poses and look stupid happy.
Yeah I was an ungrateful and angry teenager.
But when I look at those photos now, it has a different set of meanings to me. Those were few of the photos we have as a family. My parents didn’t plan for my brother and I to stay in Vancouver. They wanted us to get our education and go back to Taiwan. Little do they know, that was the last year we lived together as a family. We’ve been separated by thousands of miles ever since. That was 22 years ago.
So even though I was wearing a stupid dress and doing stupid poses some middle aged man was telling me to do, I wouldn’t trade those pictures for the world.
Even though she doesn’t think so, my mother is the one who taught me the value of photography. She spent money that she almost didn’t have, so we can have professional photos of our family to commemorate a big change in our lives.
When my mom asked me to take a nice picture of her, this is what I came up with. My mom turned 65 this year. I think she is more beautiful than she has ever been.