I loved the reflective tenor of this story. AT the end when you asked about how art, or other experiences might assist in healing pain, the question resonated. I have always had a difficult relationship with my mother, a child of the farm during the depression. She now has Alzheimer's Disease. There is little I can give her for Christmas or otherwise. However I can give her memories. I have gathered the stories she wrote about her family and their experiences growing up on a farm in the depression. I then edit and illustrate them into children's stories. I give her these as Christmas gifts, then we read the stories to the entire family. There are three children's books now, and I will keep producing them until the stories she wrote or told us are all included. As the next generation of children are born into the family I will give each child a set of them.
I began to understand her life more when I started this project. She had a childhood that was filled with hard labor and social isolation. The first story I did was of her pet pig, Jenny, who was sold at market by her father. She discovered this when she arrived home from school one day. The story she called, "Jenny, My First" and it is heartbreaking and lovely.
I will sent the picture of her with her pig. She is hand feeding Jenny who she raised from a runt.
If you would like, I can scan and send the entire story and all illustrations of this event, but for now I will send only the synopsis and the one illustration.
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