My great-aunt Agatha Ganong was born in 1917. She recently suffered a stroke and had to move into an assisted living facility - which I'm sure was hard for such a strong and independent woman. She made the request that I come and photograph her - so of course I said yes. Throughout her life she travelled all over the world, and she has the stories (and furs) to prove it.
While I was editing these photos, I was constantly reminded of a poem she wrote during her early time in the nursing home:
“Be patient, be patient,” the nurses say
Over and over to me each day.
That makes me feel guilty, for I can see
From their faces they feel they’ve been patient with me.
Dear nurses believe me, what I tell you is true.
I want to make work more easy for you.
But I’m often so stupid and sometimes so blue,
That I can’t hardly grasp
What’s the right thing to do.
I brought one of her old fur coats along for the photo, because that is such a strong part of my memories of her - growing up hearing stories of Agatha adventuring all over the world and bringing back amazing jewelry, coats and furs. I wanted to bring back some of that luxury for these photos. Although she complained that I didn't bring along her grey squirrel coat because "it goes with everything".
I can only hope that when I am 98 I will be as fabulous as she is. It was an honour to photograph her.