“Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.”
I got out a box of old photographs to sift through the other day. I have plenty of photos in frames on all of my tables, but still I keep others packed away simply because I don’t have enough frames. Someday I will put all of my unframed photos into books maybe, so they’re more organized.
But the other day I just wanted to stroll down memory lane, so I got my boxes out. They’re small cardboard shoe boxes, almost as tattered and worn as the photographs themselves since I’ve brought them with me anytime I’ve moved into a new place. There are about five or six I would say. On the top of the pile in one of the boxes is one of my favorite photographs to look at because it makes me feel so cozy. Mother and Father had just recently brought me home from the hospital and Mother is lying on the living room carpet with me beside her. I’m bundled in a purple knit blanket like a small bug in a cocoon. My stumpy little arms are splayed out to either side, dressed in a onesie that was purple as well. But the onesie was more of a lavender color, the blanket is a deeper, richer purple that stands out in the photograph even though it’s weathered and crease marks run over it. I love this picture, because I look so new, and Mother looks so happy smiling at the camera.
It’s funny to me, because I know this is a picture of me since Mother is beside me, but if I just look at the small baby in the purple blanket, it looks nothing like me. People always say how much their baby pictures resemble them but I don’t think it’s true, I think you could give someone any old photograph of a baby and tell them it’s you and they might believe it! There’s an older woman living down the hall from me and sometimes I’ll see her sitting in the recreation room, with her curly snow white hair and her fair skin. She has a picture in her clutch, and it’s evident that she’s cut it from a magazine of some sort, of a little dark baby dressed as the sun, and she tells everyone that’s how she got her nickname, “Sunny,” because that’s her! I know it’s not.
Anyways, the photograph of that tiny little thing wrapped in a purple knit blanket always makes me think about how life is a circle. One day I was there, I was that new baby. Now, I’m an elderly woman with new baby grandkids of my own. New people and old people, we travel in a circle because we end up in the same place after all, don’t we? Babies, they’re wrapped up in blankets and they lie on the floor, just being there. And some of the older people living in this building, they too are wrapped in blankets, just sitting on the couches by the TVs or in the recreational room, just being there. I’m not wrapped back up yet, I haven’t reached the end of my circle. But I will, because we all do.
When I look at my favorite photograph of myself in my purple blanket, it makes me glad about all the things I’ve gotten to do before I find myself wrapped up in a blanket again. You have to be adventurous and lively, like I was starting to with my arms poking out of my blanket! Young people sometimes don’t realize that. They would if they saw some of the people living here, their arms unable to leave their blankets. I just hope that they’ve had some fun.