The year was 1998. I was obsessed with three things: origami, Hanson, and Olympic figure skating.
(Not as a career aspiration. I still hold onto the wall at least 75% of the time when we go skating.)
Oh, and Cleopatra. I was mildly obsessed with ancient Egypt, too.
Today's post is going to be a little different, because this picture merits more description than my previous throwback photos. It was the end of sixth grade, and I was presenting my project on Cleopatra in an after-school fair. We had been instructed to dress in costume, so my incredibly talented Grandma whipped up a beautiful Grecian-style robe and headpiece for me. I felt very princess-like that day - I still remember the feel of the sandals I was wearing when this picture was taken, and I was so proud of all the information I could rattle off about Cleopatra to anyone who asked.
The only problem was that my after-school fair was the same day as my mother's annual voice recital, an event, planned months in advance, that my whole family attended. The preparations for the recital needed to happen at the same time as the fair, so my Grandpa volunteered to attend the fair with me and take me to the recital afterward. He's the one who took this picture. And this was one of the last pictures Grandpa took of me. Later in 1998 he faced kidney failure and other health problems brought on by complications from a heart bypass, and he passed away right after Thanksgiving of that year.
This photo was taken long before digital, so pictures were not as easily taken, stored, and shared as they are today. I don't know if this was the last picture my grandfather took of me, but if it was, then I think it's a pretty perfect one: a photo of his granddaughter, who was unabashedly thrilled about her school project, wearing a costume his wife made for her, before he took her to his only daughter's biggest professional night of the year. Whatever other worries or cares were in Grandpa's mind at the time, I believe he was happy when he took this picture.
The next time you look at a Throwback Thursday post, or look at a throwback photo of your own, don't only say, "Aww, you were so little then!" or laugh at the awkward dated styles. That's part of Throwback Thursday, but not all of it. Take a minute to think about who took that picture and why, and if you can, remember the author of that moment.
In 1998, I was reading these books. What were you reading back then?