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  • For the longest time it was utterly difficult for me to recognize my mother´s extraordinary beauty. Now, after her death, going through hundreds of photographs, I realize more consciously than ever before how very beautiful a woman she was. That is why my Dad never tired of photographing her.

    I guess it was just envy in me: that I just could not be - ever - that beautiful.

    There was a downside to that beauty also. My mother lived for admiration. She could be in a weeks - long depression and when a man said an admiring compliment, it could throw her out of the darkness (for a while) in seconds. She was a barrel without a bottom. The adiration of others was never enough, even though it came until after her death. She died with 88. When we sisters united her friends in the residence where she had happily lived for the last 7 years, many came and each and every one spoke of her impeccable elegance. One lady said," I watched her carefully every single day, I wanted to find some flaw in her dress or make - up, but I never - ever was able to!"

    But even beautiful and elegant: she knew she still was to grow old.

    Even beauty passes.

    That, I believe, is the cruelty of life, which her recurrent deep depressions were about.

    Maybe just feeling your inner beauty can counteract as a natural antidepressant. She did not have that confidence. Beauty is a blessing and then can become a kind of curse.

    ___________________________________________________________
    All photographs by my Dad, 27 years dead now, who loved her with each cell of his body and soul: Fritz Oberstenfeld
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