Searching for My Mother’s Memory

Memorials and Remembrance / Memorials and Remembrance : Eleanor Haley



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I have a story to tell about how, once upon a time, I lived in a little white house with my mother, father, three sisters, and two brothers. The house was often messy and always noisy. It stood tall against the abuses of 6 rowdy children. Its worn-in carpet padded the knees of newly crawling babies, and its rickety windows aided and abetted teens in way past curfew.

This house was the backdrop for almost all my childhood memories, and it is where I last saw the familial bliss that defined my younger years. It’s the last place my family was together, happy and whole, and if my mother’s soul had not been bound for heaven, I’m sure it would have gone straight here.

She is still in this little white house in my dreams, and nothing has changed except for me. In the living room, my brother has the TV turned up way too loud. One room over, my mother sits, glasses on, flawlessly playing the piano, totally undisturbed by the commotion around her.

My mother’s been gone for 6 years now, and I live 360 miles away from my childhood home. So much has happened in this time, and naturally, a lot has changed. But last week, I went home, my own two children in tow, to try and find those places where my mother’s memory exists.

I wanted to photograph these places and tell you all about it, but finding her was far more challenging than expected. But I’ll still tell you about it one day soon.

To read more about the intersection of home and grief, check out the following articles:

mother memory
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