Pictures of You

Mamie took a lot of pictures. She never seemed to take them randomly –  there was always a purpose to what she chose to take an image of. Living away from her for so long, she would often send pictures to me to share what was happening in her life. On a few occasions I got to take pictures of her as well and she was always happy to accommodate a photo-op to commemorate an occasion.

When I lived in what I still consider to be the most influential place I’ve ever lived – a loft/warehouse space on St Laurent in Montreal, Mom, Sheila, and Shirley came for a visit. They were headed to Nova Scotia that summer and stopped in to see what was happening. I have described where I was living and what it was like to live there, but nothing could really prepare her for the real thing. It was also a vital trip for me as they forced me to develop literacies around living in a city that I had never conceptualized before. This means that mom and company asked for a bunch of things that I had no idea about, but had to find for them while they were there.

Anyways, mom and her pals came up 4 long, tough flights of stairs to the loft and we served them crepes and coffees on our huge rooftop which had a stellar view of the city. For years after she recalled the view, the openness and size of our space, and the stairs. She always seemed to have enjoyed that trip, although in her last days I was talking to her and asked if she remembered the loft and she said: “Yeah that place really stank”. So. I laughed heartily when she said that as she had never expressed that to me me before, but it was so genuine and harsh that I loved it. And fair enough – it probably stank of a bunch of things. Perhaps when I asked her that she felt like she really needed to get that out because she had held it back from me for so long. Or maybe it was just a random throw out of an idea. Who knows?

Mamie, Sheila, Shirley, and I found them a hotel to stay at on De Maisonneuve (a comfort Inn?) and the following picture was taken in an elevator there. It really is, and has always been, one of my favourite photos that I have ever taken. She truly loved to laugh.


What is your favourite picture of Mamie? Why? Send it to me and I’ll post your story with the picture 🙂

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