In January 2021, our expected granddaughter was diagnosed with the genetic disorder, Trisomy 13, and the possibility of her even making it to birth was extremely rare. If she did survive being born, she would not survive very long afterward. All we could do was place her life, her parents’ health and safety, and our faith in God’s hands. While she only lived for a few minutes, the right doctors, nurses, and timing were in place so that her entire family could love and hold her during those short and beautiful seconds of her precious life. With something so devastating, how can there also be these gifts given to us, such as being granted a few moments to love someone so intensely before they leave this world? Yet, even with all the blessings, I cannot let go of this pain.
“I hold onto those seconds” is a series of mixed media works created to sort through this grief. Stemmed from personal journal writings used to release these emotions from my head, text was transferred over, at times erased, then rewritten, which created an almost unrecognizable overlapping scrawl. Photographs of scarred landscapes served as metaphors for this internal damage that had occurred in all our lives and for knowing that life would return eventually. Paint, antique wallpaper, and color became abstract memories; the red of her hair, the pink of her dress, the roses in her spray, and the grayness of that morning.