Pauline is my grandmother. I was seven years old when she was diagnosed with diabetes in 1989. For most of my adolescence and adulthood, I was witness to how diabetes slowly changed my grandmother’s life. Having lived by herself for the last two and a half decades of her life, her battle with diabetes was a struggle that my grandmother mostly faced alone. While my grandmother’s life changed as a result of her disease, my relationship with her changed as well.
The youthful relationship I once had with my grandmother started to transform when I began photographing her. I spent a considerable amount of time taking part in all facets of her medical activities: doctors appointments, hospital visits, medications, and injections. While I became privy to these aspects of her life amidst diabetes, I realized that my grandmother lived a completely disease-centric life. As a result of this recognition, all aspects of my grandmother’s home and objects took on new meaning. Unable to clean and care for her home, my grandmother’s possessions became covered with dust. This dust is a visible sign of the battles she faced. Resultantly, the most significant thing to come from this project has not been the images, but the adult relationship that my grandmother and I shared.