Love hung on a wall

“In order to empathize with the Alzheimer Journey one must get to know the person. It’s not the disease that defines the person,

In fact,

It’s ‘quite’ the opposite’.



excerpt from: the little girl with a bow in her hair

 ‘Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own’*

My Mom, Antonina Helen Macfarlane was born on February 17th, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec to parents Jack Macfarlane of Edinburgh, Scotland and Josephine Budnarchuk of Montreal, Quebec. It had been said that little Antonina, who would be referred to as Anne the rest of her life, would not be baptized in any faith. Both parents were not ‘church goers’ and although she was born in one of the most ‘Catholic’ areas of the country at the time, both Jack and Josephine would choose no organized religion. She was a delicate little girl with brown hair, beautiful brown eyes, and a heart shaped face with flawless porcelain skin. She was petite and in her parent’s words ‘perfect’. The first few years of Anne’s life, both her parents and grand parents doted her on. Her mother would  spend whatever she could to dress her darling daughter. When Anne was 2 years old, a photographer came to the door asking if Josephine would like a photo taken of the child. Josephine, who was extremely excited  was willing to pay anything for a photo of her pretty girl, said ‘yes’ of course. The photographer did not charge much, and said he would be back in a few hours so that Josephine could get Anne ready for the photo. The photographer arrived a few hours later to find the beautiful girl with a bow in her hair happily playing with her stuffed dog. She was carefully placed on the sofa while the photographer set up his equipment. Once he was ready, so was Anne. She was a natural beauty at the ripe old age of 2. The photographer took many shots and said he would be back in the next few weeks with a contact sheet for Josephine, at that point she could pick out the one she wanted, and he would develop the photo for her. The photographer returned a few weeks later, but not with a contact sheet, just a 5 x 7 photo in his hand of the little girl with the bow in her hair. Josephine absolutely loved the photo and didn’t think to ask about the contact sheet. The photo had been shot in black and white and was coloured in all the right places, and Josephine was so grateful for the beautiful photo, that the photographer said it was his pleasure and there was no charge. Josephine must have thought it was her lucky day! There was a reason as to why it was given free of charge. Josephine would be walking along St. Lawrence Boulevard a year later and saw her daughter’s picture prominently placed in a Montreal ‘baby calendar’. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the money to purchase one or pursue the issue of suing. The framed photo of the beautiful girl with the bow in her hair, hung on the bedroom wall.   * written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart 1934

© 2014 Paula Bilz. All Rights Reserved.


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