A portrait created as a birthday gift for my godmother. The image is of her mother, Anne Marie Jenkins.

While on a trip to the hospital to visit Mrs. Jenkins, I began to sketch her while she and my mother and godmother visited. At the time Mrs. Jenkins was terminally ill and 80 years old mother; she was in the hospital with pneumonia. At her directions, I was taking great pains to leave out the bruises on her face from a recent fall when Mrs. Jenkins said, “Get rid of my wrinkles and give me more hair.”

Out of a sense of self preservation, I changed the piece to look like a familiar photo of her at thirty. Later at a gathering, I watched her proudly show it off. “Oh, this is you when you were younger,” her friends said. “Oh no,” she beamed, “This was me two weeks ago in the hospital.”

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