Vigil

The decline continues. Kidneys still work, dehydration is under way. Our niece was diagnosed with cancer only 7 months ago. Now, the hospice nurse says one or two days are all she has left. Although she’s not comatose, she is less and less responsive. Our job is to regularly administer pain and anti anxiety meds […]

Closer

It could be any time now. Our niece continues to decline from her cancer. Breathing is harder. The only medication she takes now are for pain anxiety. Family members came by all day. My niece’s room was always filled with their respectful, loving presence, in various combinations.

Rough

My niece has cancer. A week or so ago she began hospice care at home. At that time she was alert, I was able to get her from bed to wheelchair, to the kitchen table. She took her meds, ate breakfast, we joked around. She’s famous for her laugh. Rough day today. No details, except to […]

Staring Eyes

My niece is, for intents and purposes, mute. She lies there with her eyes closed most of the time. I say her name loudly, perhaps too loudly, and she opens her eyes. They usually don’t stay open for long. From gaze, I can’t tell if she recognizes me. She is focused on the mid-distance. Her eyes are […]

Caregiver Pain

Things are getting worse. Getting her up is harder. Her feet don’t work. She has to stay in bed. Cousin J is here to help. He loves her. He wraps his arms around her and muscles her into position when she slides down. She’s not talking any more. Back aches. It’s hard to move, let […]

Shading and Evading

Over a period of about 10 years or so, I must have taken 300 rolls of film of my brother Mike. I combined these photos with old family snapshots, my journal entries and information garnered from my parents, to create a photographic memoir. It is a safe bet to say Mike didn’t know that I […]

Just Before Waking

Today, it was a struggle to find a subject to draw or paint. I had a dentist’s appointment and was in no mood.  However, when I finally sat down at the desk where I paint, I noticed the sketch of my wife, I did last night. I got out the big paper and decided to […]

A Good Walk with Mike

I’ve been looking though the photographs I took of Mike when he was at his group home. I used to visit fairly often with my parents in the 1990s. We would often take walks through the nearby park. I always had my camera with me. Mike is my older brother. For many years I took […]

Abstract Expressions

My brother cried when I took him on a walk, years ago. We took an unfamiliar route in the neighborhood of his group home. Mike is autistic, low functioning an nonverbal, and must have hated not knowing where we were going. I always had my camera with me back then. I was using my photography to […]