Delia Collazo and Betty Davis for AARP Bulletin

    When I trace my personal journey in photography back to its roots, I always arrive at the same place. Watching my grandmother’s memory deteriorate, her life stolen piece-by-piece by Alzheimer’s until she ends up confused and alone, surrounded by loved ones. In November of 2010, Ilene Bellovin from AARP Bulletin sent me up to Annandale, Virginia to spend a short time with Betty Davis as she visited her mother Delia Collazo at Sleepy Hollow Nursing Home. Mrs. Collazo suffers from Alzheimer’s as well and was living in Puerto Rico until her daughter had to bring her back to the states so she could care for her. I only had half an hour with the two women during their brief visit but was very moved by the way Betty expressed herself physically around her mother. There was a certain tenderness to it that reminded me that true love, while often painful, is constant. 

    Thanks so much to Betty Davis and Delia Collazo for allowing me to visit with you and to Ilene Bellovin for the assignment. These reminders that take me back to my roots, and also reaffirm the resilience of the human spirit are deeply needed and appreciated.