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Darlene Toms Mohn

There was a small funeral Tuesday for my grandmother, Darlene. Unfortunately, though I made a promise to her to speak at her funeral, I wasn't given the opportunity and now my heart hurts thinking I have broken a promise to her.

But here is what I'm reminded of. She used to carry around one of those photo albums you could print and slide 4x6's into of my work 15 years ago. She made me make a calendar of my photography before anyone else gave a damn. She told me all about the favorite photo she ever took, which was a spider web, with raindrops on it. I tried for years to find a similar subject and have twice by now, as she is ALWAYS on my mind and I STILL want to be just like her. She was an incredible artist and was so proud of me. God, how I needed that. She was also a huge fan of my cousin, Laura Mohn, who is also a brilliant working artist.

Pictured: Mike, Patti, Larry, My grandparents Darlene and Richard, and Charlotte.

I found this photo of her, camera in hand, with such perfect timing. I had never seen her like this, like she was posing for a quick group photo before going back to capturing memories herself. How familiar I know this feeling she must have felt. And Pap.... oh, how his little smirk brings a smile to my face. I will hold this photo close to my heart in these troubling times. Nanny, you were supportive, and loving, and gentle, and kind with me - and those traits are the ones I wanna honor. Thank you for changing my life.

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