Saturday, June 22, 2013

Apple... Tree



Many of you know from my updates on facebook and twitter, that my days/weeks are spent in care and visits to my ailing mother. (story here)

Her life has been one far beyond anything I could ever hope to cover here, and she has remained a woman that to this day, is intriguing and unpredictable.

One constant, however, and all six of her children would agree, is the very first image we see in our minds when we think of her.


Fashion hound.

In a lace-up number on the far right.

 Fashion queen.
 
The one looking straight at the camera.

Fashion slave?

She is on the right, and her beautiful face here kills me.

  Never.

In soft grey with spring green underneath. Never would have thought of that.

She was always one dressed in what she found to be fashionable, and her taste? Seeing her from my child's eyes convinced me that you are born with style know how and if not, you can try to learn it, but it is an essence, a predisposition and a whimsical gift that you recognize instantly on someone as innate or *book-learned.*

The soft grey suit again, this time paired with a confident stare.

My mother was not *book-learned* with her sense of style. Had any of us ever had the chance to skip into her dreams at just the right timed moment, we'd find her floating in gowns and sheaths straight from the pages of Vogue magazine.


From a time when Red Revival, gold hoops, and two hair combs were all you needed.


19 years old in a classic plaid skirt and bored stance.


The brothers as handsome as their sister.


My mother is on the left in black and a strand of pearls, my father is crouched below. My aunt looks on.



My mother on the left, in three different plaid patterns, and yet... it works.


It is with this knowledge of my mother, armed with the technicolor memories of her platform sandals and silk neck scarves, that make me smile when I walk into her room where she is now, in an assisted living center, and she looks up to see me arriving in ankle cuffed jeans, a black T shirt, Converse tennis shoes, and her first words to me are "Your pants, they could be farmer's. And is that T shirt your husband's? Are you here without earrings and how pale you look with no lipstick."

I will miss this. 

And more than missing these words, I will miss the voice that reminds me of the stock I come from.

* * * 

30 comments:

  1. Once we come to accept and/or understand, we realize what we will miss. My grandmother did not interrupt my talking today to ask if the sun spot on my upper cheek was permanent...something felt off. Such beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Any posts on your grandmother, andrea? I'd love to see them.

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  2. hugs...lots of emotion in those words...
    your mom is a beautiful woman...
    and its hard to think on the last days of our parents...
    its hard...T lost her mom a few years ago...

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    1. You're a good friend, B. Thank you.

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  3. Lovely post. I love the old pictures of your mother. She certainly has taste.

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    1. I love old photos, Lovelyn. Especially black and whites.

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  4. I really enjoyed the pictures, I clicked on them so that I could get a better look, and then I re-read what you wrote.
    Her personal presentation was part of the standard she set for herself.
    Please listen to your mother and stop wearing farmer's pants in public.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan. I was so happy when we found them.

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  5. She is beautiful. As are you. xo

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    1. Thank you, Alison. I"d love to see any photos you have...

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  6. Some woman are just born knowing how to dress! I'm not one of those women.

    I LOVE these photos!

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  7. Make that "women" dang it!

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  8. This tugs at my heart, Alexandra. I am more like you in the fashion sense - definitely NOT innate (and barely learned). But you have that innate inner beauty, which counts for so very much.

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    1. Thank you so much, my dear friend. xo

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  9. A lovely tribute to a woman with great personal style. It is so very true, fashion sense is a gift that you are born with.

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  10. Oh, those are amazing pictures, Alexandra, just as your mother is obviously an amazing woman.

    Thank you for sharing them with us!

    Take care and have a peaceful Sunday.

    XO
    A.

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    1. Thank you, we just found these, and I'm so happy we have them.

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  11. Those photos are a treasure. And your tribute to her and her style is stunning, too. Love to you and your beautiful mother.

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    1. Thank you, sweet Shannon. We just found these, and I saw them for the first time. I was thrilled. xo

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  12. these are gorgeous pictures! WOW!!!!!!!! thank you for sharing them!!!!

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  13. What wonderful photos. My mother was of the matching purse, matching bag, matching hat, matching shoes school. Nothing on me matches ever. Sense of style (or the lack of it) is something we are born with. Your mother certainly was glamorous.

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    1. Aw, thank you. Yes, women wore coats, heels, hats, and dresses. Men wore scarves, hats, gloves, belts. Different times. They'd die if they saw how so many nowadays board a plan in sweatpants.

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  14. I loved these photos. I know this is an emotional time for you. I have to admit, that I leave this post wanting to know more. Despite what you say about your mother being a "natural" in fashion, there has to be more of a story here, and I would love to hear it. Was she born into a wealthy family or lived in a certain area of town where it was essential for a woman to dress fashionably? Did she know, from an early age, that she was born with good looks, so she gravitated towards dressing up and enhancing her beauty rather than dressing like a tomboy, for instance? Are all these photos from Bogota in the 1950s, which might explain a lot, because I've met other women her age from Venezula and Cuba, all who dressed immaculately, much more stylish than their American counterparts. How did her fashion sense change when she came to the States? Was she disgusted by you going out as a teenager with ripped jeans and that rock band t-shirt?

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    1. Neil, I can't think of another person who thinks so many things, so many things when they see a photograph. I knew you'd enjoy these, we just found them. Thank you for stopping by.

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    2. Neil, I sent you an email with a link to an earlier post that explains a lot more of her life in Colombia. Thank you so much for caring... http://www.gooddayregularpeople.com/2013/04/i-wish-you-could-have-known-her.html

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  15. your mother.... so beautiful and fashionable, and against the backdrop of today with you in shocking jeans and a tee shirt, a reminder of what a different time it was "way back when."

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    1. She will always be "appearances first." Thank you for coming by, Anna. xo

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  16. Wow. This is such a lovely story about your mom's devotion to something she obviously had a gift for. Presentation. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Beautiful photos of a beautiful woman with style that transcends generations. Glad you have these memories!

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  18. I adore these photos, Alexandra. I think you're absolutely right; either you have it or you just don't. Your mother OWNED her clothing and clearly did so with confidence and poise. She's a beautiful woman, I see where you get your good looks from :)

    Sending you so much love and warm wishes, Alexandra. XOXO

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