The Reluctant Caregiver
"The Reluctant Caregiver" originated from my personal relationship with my mother - and the curiosity of whether I may have any siblings that were never mentioned, such as a brother, sister, or twin. Growing up in a military family, my parents were not always forthcoming about the past. Although friends and family have often playfully teased me about being an only child, I never thought much of it until I was given a gift card for a session with a well-known psychic medium.
"The answers are in the photographs," is what I was told about a collection of worn photos found among my late father's personal belongings. Months before my psychic reading, I had scanned the photos, and filed them away, sharing them with no one and not really thinking about them. Until, the psychic described in detail the images, including specific scenes and clothing. Intrigued, I embarked on a quest to uncover my history through the identities of unknown ancestors, navigating family secrets and lost memories.
As the sole caregiver for my aging parents, I recognize the importance of preserving family photographs as tangible memories. But, exploring family histories is a lot like opening Pandora’s box—you don’t know what’s going to come out once you begin the search, and findings cannot always be returned to the box. Discoveries may strengthen your sense of family connection but can also reveal distressing stories, heartbreaking experiences, and buried secrets.
"The Reluctant Caregiver" illustrates family dynamics past and present, patterns of interactions among relatives, their roles in the family, and the various factors that shape our relationships. The one-of-a-kind, handpainted, and sewn works piece together fragmented elements to form a cohesive entity through the examination of family photographs, letters, and other materials.