DECLARATIONS: THE HIDDEN STORIES OF PRINTED PHOTOS (MS. MADELINE)

As much as I'd like to say each day and conversation I had with people featured in this series were filled with joy and fond memories, I would be telling the truth if there wasn't a little heartache here and there. Thankfully, none that couldn't be chalked up to a bit of a down day, which we all have from time to time. However, those moments simply amplified the love that was held for the memories and people I had the honor of 'meeting' through my talks. 

I absolutely adore Ms. Madeline - and not just for her soft spoken, gentle English accent (her voice makes you wish you had a recording of it every night reading a storybook as you drifted off to sleep. It's really that lovely.) There is a sweetness to her demeanor mixed with matter-of-fact statements that keep you on your toes when she speaks.

Though our first meeting together was on a day that was more wistful than most, I am happy to say that each time we see each other now, it's clear that our initial conversation just happened to be a moment of missing. I am always greeted with a genuine smile and positive update on how her days have been, which makes me so glad. 

"My husband and I were introduced through friends while he was stationed in England and we married in ’52.

My mother and husband didn’t like one another but they would hold each other in high regard. She called him once at 2 o’clock in the morning to fix something. He got in his car and went right over. Of course, he grumped the whole way over and she called him every name under the sun. My mother would say, ‘You really are well taken care of. If you ask him to do something, he’ll do it.’ And I would agree. She would call him ‘Bastard’ and he would call her ‘Old Bollocks’.

We moved to the states in ’65. It broke her heart. My brother didn’t like him – felt he was taking me away [from family]. We were able to visit 4 times. But when my mother passed away, I wasn’t there. There wasn’t time. It broke my heart."

Ms. Madeline, resident of Crofton Care and Rehabilitation Center, with some of her favorite memories. 

Ms. Madeline, resident of Crofton Care and Rehabilitation Center, with some of her favorite memories.