And a reminder. A reminder to treasure each other. A reminder that life and health can be fleeting.
It was also a reminder to be present and remember to include myself in our memories. The words reaching out to people, asking for any photos of her, reminding people how much she'd disliked being in photographs echoed similar words we'd said about my own mother upon her passing.
How did we have so few photographs that included her?
Why were we complicit in her belief that she wasn't worth photographing?
With Mother's Day just passed, my own mother is on my mind. What I wouldn't give for another day, another visit with her. How much would I love for her to see the amazing woman her granddaughter is becoming - and for her to get a bit of the perverse joy that is a grandparent's right as she sees how both kids challenge me in so many ways.
(She'd also totally back me up on my desperate desire to have a cat in the house again. But that's another blog post!)
I wish I had more photos of my mom, though. I wish I had a way of clinging to every nuance of her that I miss. And it's through those wishes that my resolve to keep photographing us all is renewed.
Today wasn't a particularly happy day. It wasn't a bad day. It wasn't even a particularly stressful or trying day. But the reminder of mortality is a sober one.
And so, our evening family portraits.
Close together, holding one another, being present to us all and in our pictures.