I don’t have many regrets but I really wished I had made portraits of my mom during the last years of her life.
My mother Marian was a remarkable woman. Not because she created any great work of art or made a significant contribution to the outside world…only in that she shared her love with her family and friends fully. She was kind and gave of herself unselfishly in spite of her human flaws. She had a wonderful sense of humor and never missed the opportunity to offer up a meal to a friend or a place to sleep if needed. She had a full life until she had a massive stroke at 85. She went from a vibrant self-sufficient woman to being entirely dependent for the next 6 years of her life until she died. She was trapped in a body that was foreign to her. Although we knew that she was still in there, it wasn’t so easy to see from the outside. Her words were few but on occasion she would astound us with her wit. She barely complained and showed up…maybe more for us than for herself. She even got married a couple years before she died. She really was a force of nature. What I am trying to say is this…she was still Marian. What really struck me during that time was how some people treated her as if she wasn’t still the same person. Yes…she was different…yes she spoke less…yes she couldn’t walk…. yes she needed help for almost everything…and yet she was still Marian. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see that when the body presents differently. Some friends could see through her veil of illness. Some could not. This was probably out of discomfort. Some would speak with her as if she was a child…or someone less than who she was.
This experience was part of my inspiration.
She was still my mom Marian…and she was awesome.
I dedicate this blog to you mom.