16 April 2008
In 2006 and 2007 I got into the habit of visiting my great-Aunt Mo in the nursing home every Sunday after church. She passed away in April 2008 after a brief illness, and we gathered on 16th April to remember her life and lay her remains to rest. These were the flowers that had lain atop her casket. I picked them out when I accompanied my maternal grandmother, Aunt Mo’s last remaining sibling, to the funeral home to finalize the funeral arrangements.
Some in my family of origin have called me "Young Aunt Mo". When I was a child I do not remember seeing Aunt Mo go anywhere without a camera. It seems she photographed everyone and everything. My aunt recovered hundreds (if not thousands) of old photographs, negatives, and undeveloped rolls of film from Aunt Mo’s apartment when she went to the nursing home. Somehow on my maternal line the photography bug skipped a generation after Aunt Mo and landed on me when I was a little girl. I’ve been running with it ever since.
Not long before Aunt Mo died, I took my Canon 300D with me to the nursing home. She was amazed at how you could see the photos on the screen right after you snapped the shutter. "It wasn’t like that when I was your age!" she exclaimed. I was tickled to be able to show her something new of the hobby she had loved so much when she was able to get out and about on her own.
On the day of the funeral my cousin and I carried our DSLRs and wore matching camera charms on chains around our necks. It was our quiet way of honoring the memory of our great aunt. And every so often, when I pick up my camera and aim my lens, I think of her and smile.
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