Are You in the Picture?

I have been reading posts on Facebook about women who are never in the photographs.

Precious Mum’s who take the pictures but never appear themselves.

My Grandmother, Daisy, was an expert photo avoider. In every shot we have of her from the time I was born, she is hidden (usually by a kid awkwardly perched on her knee).

Photographs were few and far between when I was a child. It felt like they were rationed. You may only have had 24 exposures and you waited days for them to be developed. Our film was precious, once the photographs were taken we hoped they would “turn out”.

Nana struggled with weight issues all her life. She was a beautiful cook, famous in our family for her airy, light sponge cakes. Food was love and pleasure to Nana.

Even when she did go “on a diet”, Grandad would sabotage her by giving her huge boxes of chocolates.

He loved and treasured her. My mother and I speculated that he thought someone would steal her away if she became slim.

Nana bought joy to our family.

She listened to my stories – really listened, made her eyes big and surprised as the story unfolded.

Nana was an encourager and fiercely loyal supporter.

To me she was the most beautiful woman in the world. She curled her hair and wore a pin in the front. She had her clothes custom made by Aunty Anne. She had her own particular style. She wore rouge and lipstick. Her favourite colour was mauve. Green was unlucky so we never wore it, or gave her anything even slightly greenish.

I wish I had told her that she was beautiful.

Now, I look back at old photo’s and search for her. I found some Super 8 footage of her holding my baby brother. She leaned into the camera as if presenting the baby and the joy on her face said a million words of love.

I wish I had told her how beautiful she was.


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