Portrait of My Grandmother

Portrait of Grandmother
Portrait of Grandmother

When I was just six, my mother died from a malignant brain tumor. It's likely that she would have survived with the medical capabilities of today’s age; however, at the time she died a long, arduous death. She lost her sight, hearing, and eventually control of half of her body. This was, of course, incredibly difficult for myself and my siblings as we had to experience such a tragedy at such young ages. Furthermore, today, the painting pictured is perhaps my last article of her existence, as most everything else has been lost.  Anne, as she was named, was a classically trained concert pianist, but didn’t quite fit the mold of such an aristocratic discipline. She came from a wealthy family but often wished to denounce her materialistic wealth. Even in the portrait, you can see a hint of discontent with the formality of the setting. She would have been captured far more effectively by a mere street artist, painting for passion rather than pay. This of course is not my mother, but my grandmother; and this story is not mine, but my mother’s. She told me this story when I first asked about the portrait which hung in her room. She told me that it's hung for all of my life and will likely hang in either my home or my sisters when we are of age. This portrait serves as more than a mere picture of my grandmother. It serves as a reminder of the importance of memory, and of tradition. The portrait hangs proudly in our home and will continue on to do so as a symbol of the value of family. 

Place(s): Norfolk, New York City

– E.K.

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant