One of my art class assignments this week is to collage. Over the past week or so I’ve been wading through old photos of ancestors from my mother’s line, so I was inspired to create my first piece with my grandma as the center. The background is a photo transfer of her memorial printout. Her dress is made of newspaper headlines from every decade she was alive; including, ‘Titanic Sinks’, John Lennon Slain’, ‘175 Nazi Planes Down’, ‘Kennedy Assassinated’, and ‘Declare War’. The others ended up getting covered up in the process.
What I like about this piece is that it tells many stories. It tells the stories from the decades of her life – she wears them as reminder of what she lived and came through. It tells the story of those who loved her, and gathered for her funeral and to celebrate her life. It tells the story of her ‘getting her wings’ and the day she flew away from this place. Her eyes look toward the sky at the beauty and peace above as she ascends.
I didn’t know my grandma Wiesner. The only memory I have of her is a visit when I was maybe five-years-old – she brought me a stuffed frog filled with beads. I really liked it and specifically remember letting the loose beads fall around the top of my hand as I laid the frog on it. It felt cool, and warm all at the same time.
My mom lost her mom at a very difficult time in her life. Within a very short span of time, my mom went through a divorce, lost the baby she was carrying, and lost her mommy to Emphysema. Frances was a chain smoker who died at age 70.
While I didn’t know her in this life, I know one day I will get the chance. I am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that allows such a reunion with all of ours gone before us… a large family connected through time and space for all eternity. Such lovely reunions going on in other dimensions we cannot yet see, but have a hope of one day joining.
Alive and well are those gone before us – much more so than we are, I’m sure.
In Loving Memory of Frances M. Wiesner
b. January 30, 1912 – Fort Worth, TX
d. May 21, 1982 – Westminster, CO
buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery