I’ve decided to dedicate a post a month to photo flashbacks. This one was taken around 1989 or 1990, and I chose it because this past Tuesday (the 18th) was the 11th anniversary of Rhonda’s death due to complications from juvenile onset diabetes. She is the one on the right of the photo, sitting in the floor and waving at the camera. Aggie (Rhonda’s legal guardian as a child) is the woman with the little boy in her lap, and the little boy is J, Rhonda’s son.
J had been the rounder all evening. All the other snapshots I took have him throwing things, running around, and cheesing for the camera, but Aggie finally got him to settle down for a split second, saying, “Get over here and sit with Aggie for a minute. Let’s take a pretty picture.”
It was odd to see J so serious in a photo because he’s always been such a character, just like his mom. At the time I got the pictures developed, I was amusingly annoyed at Rhonda for sticking her silly mug in the shot. The photo was such a striking image of Aggie and J, but then anyone would look over to the side and see goofy Rhonda hamming it up for my camera.
A couple of months after her death, I rediscovered the picture while going through old photo albums and realized that the shot turned out the way it was meant to be. It captured Rhonda in her best days as a happy mom with minimal issues from her disease.
When I look at the photo now, I also picture the metaphorical meaning of Aggie and Rhonda watching over and guiding J as he lives his life and undoubtedly beaming with pride at the young man he has become.