At about 9 years old I retaliated against my grandmother and decided I no longer wanted to live in my room. It was a baby’s room with it’s pink walls, minature closet, and stuffed animals hanging from the walls in plastic bags (so they wouldn’t get dirty of course). I wanted a big girl’s room. I wanted mami’s room with a TV and all! She was living in NY and wouldn’t be using it anyways! Mama gave in, with the condition I knew it was a “borrowed” room.
The first order of business was transferring my clothes to my new closet. It was the closest thing to a walk-in closet I had ever seen. I moved mami’s things aside and took the opportunity to snoop around her stuff. To my surprise I found a few photo albums that I never knew existed. I’d never seen pictures of mami when she was little, mama when she was younger, and little did I know there was a man in her life before papi! These people that I called my relatives had a life. They even had a life before me!
I was scolded for snooping, not allowed to keep them for fear I’d ruin them, and once again they were placed out of reach. With time I forgot about them, moved back to NYC and that was that. When mama passed away, mami couldn’t tell me where the albums where, “I have no idea,” “Ask your aunt,” “It was all a blur.” Everyone was evasive.
But a few weeks ago, when I returned to DR, I asked my aunt for the opportunity to photograph all her photos, and out she came with mama’s old albums. Thank God for the digital revolution. At least now I have digital reproductions of them all.