Three pictures of my mother

She is beautiful in that photograph where they are dancing. I don’t know the occasion, but around them is a roomful of other couples also dancing. She has a beauty mole penciled on her cheek, slightly to the right of her lip. Her eyebrows are two perfect arches and her hair is dark like a beehive. I think there are dots on her dress. Where is this photograph? I would like very much to have it.

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In another shot she is posing on a terrace overlooking the crater lake with Taal volcano in the center. She is beside a famous painter who has nonetheless been introduced to us as the wife of a famous painter. She is a long-lost cousin of my father, and she paints in the naif style, with audacious colors and bold outlines. All her paintings are of saints and religious icons. You could say that piety is her subject. My mother looks like a young Audrey Hepburn with a cropped hairstyle, in a plain black dress she sewed herself.

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I vaguely remember seeing a thin album of wedding pictures, all in sepia. I do not think she wore a veil. Her dress was either a sheath, or it wasn’t. I think they had a picture of them cutting a cake. From the church ceremony, a picture of my father’s niece and nephew putting the cord around their shoulders. The cord like an 8. Infinity grounded by a knot in the center.

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