We were together last year: my camera caught my parents dying of cancer.
There’s a whole set of feelings when you deliver bad news. As far as I’m concerned, like many other people, the knees are locked, the heart is racing, and the hair on the arms is funny. However, my situation is a bit unlikely.
When my father told me and my husband, he and my mom wants to Manhattan at dinner, I’m glad to see them, and soon plan (CafeOrlin) dinner at eight o ‘clock in Olympia cafe – one of my favorite food in the Middle East. As soon as we sat down, we knew what was wrong.
My mother has been in breast cancer for 15 years and has been treating and treating the disease, even though she’s just over 50. Are they going to tell us that the other shoe is gone and she’s dying? No, this time about my father. He has 4 levels of pancreatic cancer. I’m 28 years old and the world is shaking. We all know what that means.
As a photojournalist, I did the only thing I knew: I picked up my camera and recorded my parents’ double cancer treatment for the next 24 months, and our lives. According to her to-do list, from seven hours of chemo infusion to running errands with mom, my camera was hanging on my shoulder.
When I look back at these complex months, I don’t immediately remember feeling scared. I remember your laughter, high quantity of heat of dinner (of course, according to the requirements of the doctor), the ball in the middle of the night in my parents’ kitchen, and barbecue from Susan a Chappaqua endless dialogue Lawrence gourmet food and bakery than clothing blueberry pie.
Everyone deals with their fears in their own way, especially death. My family tends to humor us to pull us through. I remember sitting in my parents’ bathroom floor one night and starting to cut off my mother’s hair, which had become a flat braid tied to her scalp. Chemotherapy had stopped growing, but she was not ready for a third breakup with her hair – once diagnosed with each cancer. I remember cursing the universe and asking my mother to take a rest. The next thing I knew, my mother jumped in front of me and my camera and threw away her face like an eyebrow. A fashion show followed, because we all used her hair as a costume, including dogs! She found that at this moment, it was a great woman for her to find the lightness and the ability to be happy.
By facing my biggest concerns, using my camera as my shield, I can get rid of the trauma I expect and really enjoy the time we left together. If I were far away from reality, I wouldn’t have a beautiful picture, and my parents were holding hands in the chemo chair because they had their own treatment. They are the definition of strength and courage, and seeing these images reinforces the importance of not being afraid. It also reminds me of every day, not the loss of vision. As my mother once told me, “there is life here too. I have marshmallows, you know!”
Dad handles hiring and talking to gardeners every spring. After his death, the responsibility fell on his mother. After hearing the news of his death, the company’s boss sent flowers. It was really sad. Mom found a perfect place to hang them in the backyard.
Mother’s to-do list represents the simultaneity of life: is the cornerstone of hoy order to decide whether to start radiation, to join a gym, and began to decline, the most important thing is: “what’s wrong with our girl scout cookies?
Is it scary? Of course. When he died in 2013, my father, Justie, was 58. My mother, Laurel, died one day after my father’s death at the age of 59. But the most remarkable thing is that the last few months are full of love and life.
Enlarge this picture.
Howie and Laurel Borowick attended the wedding of photographer Nancy Borowick in 2013. Howie called it the last hurrah for the family.
Provided by Matthew Borowick.
Although my parents had left, brothers and sisters and I continue to feel the love and guidance, we read letters and notes for decades, including a small pile of post-it note from mother, shows the importance of tend to fear. Adventure: courage is not without fear – this is knowing that you are afraid and in any case. Don’t spend your time avoiding risk and fear. Bill. Live on your own terms. Life is precious; Live with your precious voice. To my three angels: if you want to talk or feel my love, look up at the night sky – I always look at you.
Nancy Borowick is a photographer based in Guam. She wrote humanitarian stories for the New York times, the Washington post and CNN. Her book records her parents’ life and cancer, family release notes: the portrait of her daughter, love and loss, is now available, and the work will be exhibited in brooklyn, New York, on Friday.