Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Favorite Photo: Spring 1949

This photo of my mother was taken in Cambridge, England when she was 18 years old. It's one of a series of three photos that were taken the same day. On the back of this one she's written: "Me with horse. Cambridge, Spring 1949."

I never knew my mother because she was killed in an auto accident when I was an infant. Taken in by a childless couple who never told me I wasn't biologically their daughter, I discovered the truth when I was twelve.

Over the years I've had to piece together what I know about my mother's life from photographs, letters, documents, and the few family stories I've heard.

I especially love the three little photographs taken in Cambridge because they depict what I assume was a happy day in my mother's young life, and because she's written on the back of them:

"This was taken the day Pauline and I went to Cambridge. The horse nearly got my primroses!"

"Pauline's and my day in Cambridge. We have just been picking primroses in a wood. The country side was pretty and fresh after London."

Born in England, my mother spent most of her girlhood, the years of WWII, apart from her family. She and her siblings were sent to the safety of the country for "the duration." When she was 19 she traveled to the United States with a military family as their nanny - which is how I came to be born here.

This picture makes me wonder what led my mother and her friend, Pauline, to travel to Cambridge that Sping day in 1949. Did they have some business to attend to, were they visiting someone, or was it just a lark? I'll never know & I'm sure it's not important, but I'm glad she was photographed that day.


Blog Princess G said...

The fact that she's holding primroses is so charming. Thank you for sharing this personal story. You had a terrible loss, and what a great shame she missed out on seeing you grow up.

willow said...

What a beautiful woman your mother was. She would be so proud of you, and all her grandchildren. Lovely and poignant post, Hilary.

Hermit on the Hill said...

Wow! You look a lot like her!