I had a birthday while I was away on vacation, so my mother only just got a chance to give me a birthday gift — and what a gift she gave me. I’ve long coveted a photograph she sat for, in Jerusalem, in December 1945, when she was 22 years old. That date is significant because it was a mere 4.5 months after she was liberated from concentration camp in Indonesia (where she’d been imprisoned since December 1941). You can learn more about Tjideng, one of the camps in which she was held, here.
Mom always claims that, when she looks as the picture, she can still see the faint puffiness in her face that is a residual of the bloating that occurs when one is dying from starvation. I don’t see that. To me she’s just beautiful. As you look at it, use a little imagination and add some color: pale blond hair, golden tanned skin, and ice blue eyes.
UPDATE: My husband, who is not much given to compliments, saw this photo for this first time today and announced “It looks like you.” I think he’s wrong (I look too much like my Dad, not to mention being more than 20 years older than that girl in the photograph), but I was flattered nevertheless.