Creating a birthday gift for mom

Before he died, my dad was an avid photographer. I remember all the posing I had to do for him all the time. At the time it seemed so obnoxious when I just wanted to run around and play. I hated it. Of course in hindsight, all those pictures he took of us were a reflection of his love for us. And I sure do appreciate having all those mementos now, since they are all that I have left of him.

Dad always had a darkroom in the house where he developed his own photos. That smell is something that has stuck with me and I have never forgotten it!

He took a photo of mom and I when I was little that I have planned to recreate since my little girl was born. Eva is now about the age that I was in the original photo, and mom’s birthday is this week, so I thought it was finally time to do it. Here’s the original from either late 1984 or early 1985.

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It had become tinged with a yellow tint with the passage of time, and had a lot of spots that had to be cleaned up. So I did considerable fixing up with Photoshop so it would match the new picture.

My sweet husband helped me to recreate the photo over the weekend. It was hard for me to do, as I’m very (seven months) pregnant and considerably heavier than I normally am. However, my mom was also pregnant in the original picture with my younger brother. I am also pregnant with a boy, who, like my brother, will be a junior in name. Mom and I are also both 31 years old in these pictures. There couldn’t have been a more perfect time!

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I took my picture to mirror my mom’s so they can be hung facing each other, instead of facing away from each other. I have framed them and gave them to her for her big 62 birthday. My mom has reached the age of retirement!

I know I am biased because she is mine, but I can’t help but be struck by how absolutely gorgeous my little Eva is! I thought she favored me until I put these pictures together and now see that the hair and eyes are about all we share.

I hope to be able to do something like this again soon, maybe for someone else who wants to do a similar project. It really has been such a cool and special experience! I think it’s much more meaningful than giving “stuff” just for the sake of giving something.

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