My grandmother spent half of her life in the same house. She maintained it meticulously and cleaned it obsessively; she manicured the lawn painstakingly. Never one to venture far, for the last several years of her life, she would not leave the house. She left in the end only to go to the hospital and she fought that with what remained of her strength. While she was in the hospice, I found myself alone in her home for the first time I can remember. I explored. The house itself retained her personality, from the still-wrapped candle in her dust-free living room to the rosary on her dresser mirror.
Nana would never allow herself to be photographed. Alone in her house, I saw her everywhere, and so, finally, I took her portrait.