This is my first offering to The Gallery. For those who won’t know what The Gallery is, it’s run by the wonderful Tara Cain over at Sticky Fingers. Every week a new theme is offered and people are invited to post their favourite photo and explain how it relates to that particular theme. There are some amazing photos and equally inspiring stories on the site – it’s well worth a look!

This week’s theme is LOVE. 

I have, like most people I would imagine, hundreds of photos that encapsulate the meaning of love to me. Photos of when the
children were born, when my eldest was playing rugby, my youngest at his assembly, my favourite photo of my other half and I at a Jose James concert and one of the four of us swimming in Jamaica together at my sister-in-law’s wedding (and a gazillion photos in between). Phew!

The photo I’ve chosen, however, is of me with my late mother. Christmas is bittersweet for me. Since she passed five years ago, everything has changed. I miss her at this time of year more than any other but I’m just so grateful I have my own family to fill my heart right back up.

The photo was one of four passport photos found in Mum’s bedside drawer when she died. I must have been the same age as my youngest is now, six, and I can see the resemblance between myself, Mum and my son (although the rest of the time he is the spitting image of his Dad!) The Christmas after she died, my other half took the photo to a firm who specialised in putting photographs onto canvasses (they were hard to find five years ago,) and he had meant to give it to me as a Christmas present.

However, he was so worried it would upset me (and that was obviously the last thing he wanted to do) he told me about the present beforehand to make sure I’d be OK. It makes me cry even now when I think about how thoughtful he was, and still is, and I told him it was the nicest, most thoughtful and loving present he could have given me. It now resides, pride of place, on a wall in our lounge.

Although Christmas for me is about missing my loved ones, it’s also a reminder of just how special certain people are that are still with me so even though this photo is of my beloved Mum and me … it’s also a reminder of how lucky I am. So a special Happy Christmas to everyone who is missing a loved one this year … and also to those of us who are lucky enough to still be surrounded by love.

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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