hi there! i'm michelle, southern california based photographer and curator of the coco gallery.

welcome to my blog where i share my life, my latest adventures, photo projects, random nuggets and the occasional stray thoughts.

for clients: to view my portfolio just click on this link - theCOCOgallery.com. to book sessions please send me a message through theCOCOgallery.com or contact me via michelle@thecocogallery.com | 949.734.0604

Friday, December 4, 2009

mila | happy birthday mom

dear mom,

life has been good.  actually, it's been better than good.  it's been great!  i am here, i am me and this is now ... because of you.  thank you!  

i've been thinking about you a lot lately.  fondly.  it's been a while since i've mindlessly picked up the phone trying to call you but you're still in my thoughts.  the unannounced tears that used to show up often have finally receded and been replaced with wistful smiles over fond memories.  ina and i still laugh over your driving skillz.  and we still like telling people about the time your grandma hung you from a tree inside of a rice sack.  it makes for a good story.

so this facebook thing....  it's quite the phenomenon!  i could totally see you into it ... well.. it might take you a while to get the hang of it.  but just these last couple of months 3 people from your past found me.  they were looking for you!  you would've been excited. kinda sad tho... i had to break it to them that you were gone.  but i let them know that you were fine.  and that you won!  we all know that the idea of wrinkles setting in was enough to make you cranky.  you went out gorgeous and wrinkle free just the way you wanted.  i think that made them smile.  we knew you well. 

we're pregnant by the way!  tita candy says that i'm tiny like you were.  i didn't know that you didn't start showing till you were 7 months!  i wish you were here so i could ask you all these questions .. how it was for you.  am i gonna get stretch marks?  i bet you would've been excited.  she's moving so much now.  oh yeah!  we're having a girl!  i'll whisper her name to you later.  ina says she'll baby sit but she won't change poopie diapers.  i wish you were here.  i know you wouldn't want to be called grandma.  that's right up there with getting wrinkles.  you would've been an awesome grandma though.  i wish you could meet her.  i'm betting you guys would've gotten along.  you'd probably spoil her.  i wish she could hold your hand.  you always had soft hands.  i wish ...

yeah... it's been a while ... since i cried this hard.  these tears ... they can't seem to stop right now.  i miss you.  a lot.  i gotta go... blow my nose.  happy birthday mom.  i love you.


  1. Your mother was absolutely breathtaking, and I can tell from what you said that she was just as beautiful on the inside.... Thank you for opening up and sharing such a special part of your life. It really touched me this morning.

  2. OMG this had me in tears; I'm such a mess now! Thanks for sharing this wondefful note to your mother. She was beautiful, just like you :)

  3. Michelle, your mother is kept beautifuly alive in you, and now your daughter. The really neat connection between mothers and daughters is that when we're born, our ovaries contain ALL the eggs we'll have for our lifetime. This means that while you were inside your mother, a small part of your daughter was alreay there. So, your daughter and your mother, in a way, have already been together. Isn't that really cool to think about?

  4. I feel touched by this blog. I lost both my parents before I was 21, and now 28, I had my first child last year. I write in a journal every month to tell Gabriela the milestones in her life. I take so many photos, and do a yearly photo album for her (just working on year 2). I wrote about my pregnancy, my life, her steps, etc... religiously.

    Because I never want her to be in the position I'm in, but just in case, she'll still know what I felt.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. :)

  5. You made me cry!!!!!
    Happy Birthday, Mila. Even if you were indeed a character, you made us laugh, and you made us happy especially because you shared your two beautiful daughters with us. I am blessed that I was part of tour life.

  6. Geez Michelle! What's the chances that my itunes shuffled to "goodbye's the saddest song" by celine dion AS I read your letter to you mom. Thank you for making me cry my eyes out. :) I see where you got your amazing looks from! ;) I'm sorry she can't be here with you in this amazing time of life for you. :( Thanks for sharing a very deep and private part of your soul with us!

  7. WOW, Love, looking at your mom's pictures is like looking at you and Enda all rolled into one!!! I don't think I have ever seen so many pictures of your mom through the years and had met her only after the accident. It was so striking to see you so clearly in some and Enda in others and the blend of you both in the majority!