General Non-Fiction posted January 28, 2022


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I lost her photographs but not her picture

Picture of My Mother

by Kit Nongkhlaw

Pictures Contest Winner 


We were rummaging through the box containing the old photographs. After some time, my daughter, over five years old, said,

"Papa, I want to see the picture of your mother."

These words pierced my heart. Those precious, amazing pictures of my beloved mother. There are many things in life that we understand and know their values only after we lost them.

Therefore, that evening, I told my young daughter everything about those photographs of my beloved mother who passed away over twenty years ago.

Our mother suffered a lot in her lifetime. She lost her first son in a remote village where she accompanied our father, who worked as a mission school teacher. She was so sick that she was brought back home carried in a chair.

Despite her ill health, she gave birth to two healthy sons, me and my brother. Then, she had another two miscarriages. The last one was recognizable as a girl.

She never complained about the hardship of life but did her best. She worked so hard to provide us with the best she could. Our father, being the mission school teacher, earned little. Then my brother suffered from epilepsy. Our father had to resign from his job to look after our brother. We lost almost everything except the love and integrity of the family. During this crisis, our mother was the mainstay of the family.

By the grace of God and the faith of our mother, my brother was healed from dreaded epilepsy. However, the health of our mother deteriorated. By the time I started college, our mother was no longer in a position to work.

We were poor but not destitute. Money was a problem, but we worked hard to support ourselves. I studied in night class so that I could work during the day, to support myself.

One day, on the way to college, as on a hunch, I did something memorable. I went to the photo studio in the city. I asked them how much would it cost me to hire their camera for one day. They told me the price which I could afford.

That night, coming home from college, I told my mother about the camera. She was ecstatic. The next day, I went and invited my aunt, my mother's youngest sister, to our house for the photo session.

I took their pictures from various angles. This was the first time I ever held a camera in my hands. In those days, there were limited pictures in one roll. The roll I took had twelve pictures. I clicked all twelve pictures.

Later, when I brought back the photographs, my mother was ecstatic. She was slim, tall, and beautiful. She was a gentlewoman with a captivating smile. Everything about her is beautiful.

Then the most dreaded thing happened. After about a month after I took those photographs, God took her away from us. She had a massive heart attack and within half an hour; she passed away.

After this tragic incident, our world collapsed. We suffered problems, one after another. When problems came, they came in heaps. We lost many important things, including our house. We shifted our residence many times, and we lost many important things, including those precious photographs of our beloved mother.

When I told this story to my daughter, she said,

"Papa, in my mind I see grandma as a beautiful woman. She is more beautiful than you."

"Yes, dear. She is extremely beautiful. She is beautiful in everything, including her heart."

I agree with my daughter. I lost her earthly photographs but I carry her beautiful picture in my mind forever.



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This is a true story.
Number of words - 606
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