5/52 Portraits – Family Ties

It’s week 5 of 52 weekly self portraits.

The prompt I chose this week is a little out-of-order from the 52portraits class. Our wonderful hostess Vanessa said to go with whatever we wanted though since the experience of the weekly portraits is our own.

I went to Portland, Oregon last Friday to visit my son, daughter-in-law and 19 month old granddaughter, Emma. My mom (Emma’s great grammie) flew in from Colorado for the weekend as well. We spent a lovely time getting to know Emma and catching up on her folks’ lives. Mom and I stayed with Emma’s other grandmother, Nana (I’m Mimi). She was a wonderful hostess and we felt welcome and spoiled.

My son Ian, granddaughter Emma and me.

My son Ian, granddaughter Emma and me.


What is special about this picture? It’s just a family selfie right? Not exactly. The prompt is Family Ties, the good the bad and everything in between.

My son and daughter-in-law and I had been estranged for a few years when he and my daughter-in-law gave birth to this darling girl.  I visited them once, six weeks after she was born (see my post Emma Meets Me, her Mimi), and we met as wary acquaintances with this sparkling soul as mediator. That year was a terrible one for me. I felt my age keenly when I became a grandmother, and I was faced with my part in the two-year hostile silence between us. Then I lost my father to a terminal illness four months later. In the middle was a bleak temporary job to pay off debts. I felt like I was in purgatory. When Tim and I retired to our ranch in McCall, ID in May 2015 I began to find bits and pieces of happiness each day and got back to an even keel.

I wish this photo included my mom as I adore her and her presence made the reunion rich for us all, and easier for me. My son is an amazingly intelligent and creative man … and intense and challenging. Honestly? Sometimes I feel intimidated around him. I was so glad my mom was there to help me face that and let it go, for the weekend at least.

I know I’m rambling on, but this portrait project is a journey of self discovery and family ties are meant to be explored and faced.

The star of the show of course is darling Emma. We danced together (she loves turning around in circles until she gets dizzy), and we colored together. I felt privileged when she graced me (and Mom) with cuddles and hugs. She is bursting with language! She even called me Mimi, my heart flipped 😀 .

So the 5th portrait of my year is about family bonds reestablished as generations came together. The beauty of this new Emma soul has great healing power.





Thank you my friends for taking this journey of self-discovery with me. It’s not always easy to share this stuff, especially when some of the content involves others! xoxoxox

Starfire aka Meghan aka FireBonnet

Starfire aka Meghan aka FireBonnet

52 Portraits is a photography course in self discovery by Vanessa and is hosted through Get Messy Art Journal. The course is a year long journey in using photography and words to turn your reflection inward and capture who you are at this phase in your life. Learn more and join the course here.


4 comments on 5/52 Portraits – Family Ties:

  1. Genevieve March 3, 2016 5:34 pm

    Great shots. And so good that you have moved on from that dark time into the light. Emma makes the light even brighter!

    • starfire March 5, 2016 1:56 pm

      Yes, yes, yes Genevieve! Phew.

  2. gillywelch21 March 3, 2016 10:38 pm

    How wonderful for you & Emma!

    • starfire March 5, 2016 1:55 pm

      It certainly was for me! I look forward to facetime with her now that she knows me better.

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