For a long time I thought it was just a funny photo I had taken of two fat ladies, probably sisters, enjoying a day at the beach. But the more I look at it, the more I think it is a mother caring for her mentally handicapped daughter. If the daughter, on the right, turned around, I think she would have the appearance of Down’s syndrome.
A clue is in the way they are standing. The mother seems to be holding her daughter’s hand in a protective manner common to mothers everywhere, but this one has become automatic after perhaps 40 years of daily routine. The mother, bored by the constant care-giving, is easily distracted by something in the distance, but that is okay because she is holding onto her daughter. The daughter looks straight ahead, unconcerned, knowing her mother will handle everything, as she always has. For both, hand-holding is as natural as the sunshine in Florida. Neither gives it the slightest thought.
The photo is over ten years old, and the mother could well be dead and her daughter institutionalized by now. The mother must have been worried about the future but kept a brave face to give her unsuspecting daughter one more day of carefree pleasure. This, too, was as natural as the sunshine.
Whatever the true story is, I am now saddened by the photo, not amused, and I deleted it from my files.