Mary Kay has a theory that in the New York Times (and it seems to work for the Chicago Tribune as well), that there is at least one stellar article to read.
For years, I have found that I just don’t have the attention span to read complete articles and information found in newspapers. I find it personally distressing, but as they say, it is what it is.
Today, I found more than one article in the New York Times that I found fascinating. This article on this Sunday, September 3, 2023, is in the Sunday Opinion Section of the New York Times. It is entitled “17 Years Photographing a Family’s Grief and Growth.” There is a short article with nine photos and a beautiful article by a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and artist by the name of Preston Gannaway.
It resonated with me and it pretty much brought me to tears.
The photographer was 28 at the time she started doing this photo documentary, at first observing and later becoming a close family friend. Rich St. Pierre, now the dad, was 7 years old when he suddenly lost his mother. Thirty years later, he faced the same situation but as spouse. His wife was diagnosed with a rare, very aggressive liver cancer. Rich and Carolynne (who had two children from a previous marriage as well) wanted to do everything possible to assure that their son E.J. (or Elijah) would experience his impending loss differently.They began journaling, writing letters, and making videos for the kids.
E.J. was 3 at the time Preston started working with them and one year later his mother was gone.
Preston documented the life of the by now single dad and son, who is currently 17 years old. During that time, she learned much about them and also about herself and what her feelings were about family and loss. In a few short words, Presto
This fabulous photographer and artist has created a work of art. It’s sadness and joy are completely evident and it is as if the person taking it in is a silent observer as a fly on the wall.
I am speechless.