Editor's note: Visura Magazine was last published in 2013. Visit Visura.co for our latest initiatives.

May 14th marked a day of change for my family.

My grandmother June Mama fell in the rose bush outside of her home in Beverly Hills, Florida. In previous falls, she broke a knee, hip, wrist, and shoulder. On this occasion, she cracked her pelvis and broke bones in her forearm. At the time, she was living alone, so she had to scream for help from the bushes. My mother received a phone call from the company that was alerted when June Mama pressed the panic button that hangs from her neck. Before she heard if her mother was okay, she drove 421 miles to be by her side.

This accident meant that June Mama could no longer live alone in her home. She now had to move closer to family, one that she barely knew or relied on. For the first time since her adolescence, my mother would be seeing her mother regularly. On the other hand, I would finally get to know my maternal grandmother, less than one year after my paternal grandmother died after a fall with broken bones of her own.

Two months after June Mama fell and completed physical therapy, I walked into her house for the second time in my life. I entered the kitchen, where my mom and grandma were making me dinner. It was a surreal moment to watch my grandma, who is 4’8”, standing next to my mother, who is a foot taller, chopping tomatoes for tacos. It was a banal scene. I realized that until that evening, I had only been in this house once before in my twenty-eight years. As I entered the kitchen, this was the first time I was witnessing my maternal grandmother cook a meal.

My paternal grandmother, who I saw countless times, was always at the stove cooking. However, I had only seen my maternal grandmother, June Mama, a handful of times during short visits that were rarely held at her own home. The simple act of entering June Mama’s home, walking into her kitchen and seeing her interact with my mother was new and strange. I felt like I should have lived that scene a dozen times before and that left me with a sense of loss and wonder as I sat in the kitchen.

I wandered through her two-bedroom home. My mother and grandmother had already decided which items would remain for the new owners and which belongings would be brought to June Mama’s new two-bedroom apartment in Columbia.

My mother marked with pink tags—paintings, sofas and countless treasures her mother gathered decades ago, when she traveled the world as a military wife—as an indication to the movers that these items needed to be packed. After the division, what remained in the now old house were the following: a plastic plant, twin beds, a living room set, and June Mama’s king size bed. The pillows in her bed were placed on her side ever since her husband passed away ten years ago, and although the pillow-less other half remained empty, that bed along with the home was her last grasp of him.

It is very hard to let go of one’s home and the bed and the past you shared with your late husband. It is difficult to let go of a place, its routine and comfort, like the regular bridge games with dear friends. It is a humbling experience to acknowledge that you are no longer independent, and that it is time to move close to family—one you don’t know very well.

The night after the moving truck collected most of my grandmother’s belongings to drive and deliver to South Carolina, I awoke at 3 a.m. to the sounds of my grandma crying in her bedroom. This would be the last night she would sleep in her bed and Florida home.

My grandmother told me that this move signified “starting over.” To begin is scary, and, at 83, it must be terrifying.

My grandmother (June Stone, née Claudia June Durden), my mother (Claudia Smith Brinson), and I (Claudia Kendrick Brinson) share the same first name, Claudia. However, my grandma and I have never gone by our first names. Twenty-eight years of my life unfolded before my grandmother and I began to get to know each other. At the time, it was a tough moment to start a relationship. I did not know June Mama well; meanwhile, she is such an important person in my life. Being that I am 28 years old and she is 83, it was time.

Website via Foto Visura Inc. Other creative services include:
Photography & film portfolio website builder | Photography, film & photojournalism network | Photography, film & photojournalism archive | Photographic image archvie | Community news feed