Click here Image | Writing Task
How could you decide to keep these photos hidden? We discover them all as we pull apart your home. We’re making choices about what to keep, what to share, what to throw away when a box of photos is brought down from the loft. The box you so often mentioned, the one you said you would sort for us all so we’d all have our share. But the box is a chaos of images. Outstanding in their order, is an album for each of us of our weddings. How can this be? How can we not have seen these before? Ours is lovely and full of pictures from engagement to the party a week after our wedding, before we headed back to India and our lives there.
One image is jumping out in this red album with black pages. In amongst the photos so carefully placed is a “poor image”. Bad lighting, a strange composition showing tubs of rice salads and other food balanced on a large chest freezer. It is a shiny gloss print. A Truprint special, sent back with two other slightly smaller copies for sharing. A concrete form of sharing; handed over or sent in the post. Did you send them to us in the post to India and I have forgotten? Did they get lost in the post? Why didn’t we look at this album on one of our visits home?
You took the photo to show all your hard work towards our wedding breakfast. I’m not sure that I knew you had done all this or ever seen this photo, and now I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this or that I’m sorry if I didn’t really thank you.
You are not really sure you know who I am when I visit but you are kind and and polite. I can’t say we have found the album. It is too much to see you in such a reduced state, no longer taking photos or really gathering much from your surroundings.... How often have we been annoyed about always having to pose for photos over the years? Now I hold this precious album and this image is there. Showing your house, dated even then, looking like it is still the 1970’s; lots of orange, brown and patterns. A huge chest freezer is piled high with food; ready meals and things frozen from the garden; raspberries from the garden ready for Christmas Day.
We never spent Christmas day with you, we had family Christmases on another day, peeling sprouts under your instruction the night before. In another orange and brown house. We have cleared the orange and brown flat, your last independent home.
And I can’t really get this image out of my head and how it is a declaration of so much around your life; how you took on three boys, not your own, left two girls who were yours and somehow we have become a family, centred around family moments and food; food you have made, meals out you paid for. Now that time is gone. We still meet, we are still strongly family, in a tender time.