I was a caregiver for my special needs brother and am also raising my granddaughter, after the passing of her mother, my dear daughter. What I once only shared privately, I now photograph and share with my family, friends, and photo community. My pictures tell the story of how important my Catholic faith is to me and how every room in my home is testimony to my sentimental values.

With The New York Times portrait assignment we did earlier this year, I was challenged with having to take photos of myself. I was always my worst critic with “selfies”, especially because of my aging. I was so afraid of looking horrible, I didn’t even want to look in the mirror. But after looking at my self-portraits, now I say “Oh my God, I didn’t appreciate what I had.” I took a risk and was so pleased. Inside I feel happy. I look at pictures now and think, is that me?

Through photography, I’ve become aware of the beauty around us and how important it is to take advantage of how differently we see now.

I am an artist and I believe it now. The more older adults believe in their own artistry, the more everyone will take all of us seriously.

I pray for my family and their safety with my statue of the Holy Family. South Bronx, NY. 2021.

A self-portrait taken before attending St. Jerome Church. I am wearing my veil of the Legion of Mary. Bronx, NY. 2021. 

Photos from our marriage. 54 years ago, on May 20, 1967, we had our reception at the Hunts Point Palace in the Bronx. Bronx, NY. 2021. 

My painted rocks with a vase filled with flowers. South Bronx, NY. 2021.

My special painted rocks. One is in memory of my daughter’s beloved dog Chico, another one is in honor of my daughter who is a nurse. South Bronx, NY. 2021.

My apartment door is adorned with pictures from my Catholic faith. South Bronx, NY. 2021. 

A beautiful suncatcher of Saint Michael the Archangel, in the window of my home. South Bronx, NY. 2021.

 This Angel was a special gift. I look to her for inspiration when I create my painted rocks. South Bronx, NY. May 2, 2021. 

My granddaughter Saniya gets ready to go into the city to meet her friends. I have been raising my Saniya since my daughter, her mother, passed away in January 2016. Bronx, NY. June 3, 2021. 

Four of my nine grandchildren. On Mother’s Day, I had Ruben, William, Sarah, and Samantha, all siblings, pose in front of their home in Rockland, NY. This is where their stories began as children. Rockland, NY. May 2021. 

A self-portrait in my granddaughter Saniya’s room. She has lived with me since the passing of her mother Jennifer, my daughter, in 2016. Bronx, NY. 2021.

Rene, my spouse, receives his second Moderna shot at the Veteran Hospital. Bronx, NY. 2021.

Honoring my husband, an Army veteran, by displaying the American flag in our home. Bronx, NY. May 31, 2021. 

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