On February 5, 2021 my grandmother, Barbara (Ransom) Krauth passed away from Parkinson's disease and COVID-19. Two weeks later my aunt Melanie passed away from metastatic breast cancer. Since then I've observed the changes in my family's dynamics.
My Mom is now the oldest living child of my grandfather Charles Krauth. After years of fighting over politics my Mom became closest to my aunt Melanie out of all five children. Losing these family members changed our perception of life and made every small quarrel irrelevant.
Since my grandma's and aunt's deaths my seeing and interpretation of light, as well as my understanding of memory and photography has been altered. As a photographer I’m always looking for light, and ever since their deaths I often see light as an energy rather than just another lens glare or golden hour.
Family slides and poems literally carry their touch and because of objects like these I still feel their presence.
Maybe it’s just coincidence, or maybe it really is their spirits speaking to me through hazy light and moments in nature that I will never unsee.
These significant changes have especially affected my grandfather. I think he tries to stay grounded in daily routines. Every morning he drinks his coffee while reading the newspaper. Then he does a crossword puzzle, making the rest of us wonder if we need to expand our own vocabulary. Then he walks in the forest with his blue shirt, jean shorts and knee high rain boots. Then he watches television. Then he asks, "What's for supper?" And on Sundays, he goes for a drive.
When my aunt Melanie was a kid my grandmother would tell her, my Mom, their two sisters and one brother to find a blue flower to sit on while she fixed something to eat. This tradition got passed on to me and my sister and it will continue for generations to come. This is one of the many memories separated by time that my family shares and where this series gets its name from.
I recall speaking with my grandmother and laughing because we always knew that if the world ended we would go visit her. She had years worth of food stocked in the basement and in freezers. In August 2021 we made blueberry cobbler from blueberries she picked from her backyard in 2008.
I'm trying to hold on to any part of my aunt and grandmother that might still be here. My grandmother left hidden items and notes everywhere for the rest of us to figure out. My aunt left my Mom with a last wish of keeping in touch with her kids and husband (my cousins and uncle). I like to think that certain moments in nature-- butterflies, beetles and deer, are their spirits watching over us to make sure we're figuring it out.