Grandma Vera

Last August I visited my family in North Dakota.  Unfortunately I only get back home on average once every two years.  While I am very happy calling Tennessee my home now, it saddens me to think how much I miss out on by being so far away from my Grandma Vera, parents, siblings and their families.  This last visit I initiated a very special portrait session with one of the most beautiful ladies (inside and out) I have ever known…my 94 year old Granda Vera. Though her life (like most people) had it’s moments of challenges and loss; she grew up during The Great Depression, her mother died when she was only 15 yrs. old, she outlived two husbands and a son just to name a few. Regardless of all of this, Grandma Vera has always maintained a positive attitude.  She has continually reminded me that there will be times in life that are difficult and sad, but that you have to make the best of things and keep living.  I hope if I live to be 94 that I am as healthy, able bodied and social as Grandma Vera.  It is a blessing to have had such a great role model all these years.

Being so camera shy, it took a little convincing on my part to get Grandma Vera to be the only one in the photo.  I explained how these portraits were important to me and the rest of the family…that we wanted to have these portraits to cherish down the road when she is no longer with us.  Once Grandma agreed to the portrait session I then asked if she would wear her black and white floral dress and some of her beautiful costume jewelry.  It is a favorite of mine that she looks so beautiful wearing!  I also chose to photograph Grandma in and around her home…a place I’ve always loved visiting!  To have her in her own environment, with her own things, seemed like the perfect backdrop.

Not everyone is lucky to have grandparents when growing up.  I count myself lucky to have such a treasure trove of memories associated with my grandparents and especially Grandma Vera.  It was always so much fun to go and stay a week at the farm with her and Grandpa Ted.  We would spend our days taking walks on the country roads, admiring their flower and vegetable gardens, playing cards, and eating delicious food.  Many visits were also filled with watching the beautiful creations Grandma would be making with her sewing machine for myself and my siblings.  She made my sister Erica and I the most beautiful dresses…maybe that’s why I still delight in wearing summer dresses so much!  She made us doll clothing, stuffed animals…you name it…Grandma could create it!  For this reason I photographed Grandma at her sewing machine last summer. With that, I am thrilled to have these beautiful portraits of a a very special and lovely lady!  To see more photos you may do so by clicking here.

Portraits of a Grandmother

  • Diane Gentes

    Wow Angela, this is so very special. I love all of the photos. She looks so young, I see where you get your beauty from. What a wonderful memory you have created for all of your family and good for your sweet Grandmother to jump on board and pose for you. Fantastic!!!!

  • Thank you so much for the kind words! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do a special portrait session of my grandmother. These are memories that will be cherished forever!

  • Joey Gallagher

    Angela – Erica shared the link with me. The pictures of Aunt Vera are absolutely beautiful. She is the sweetest lady that I know too. You were very blessed to have such a great person in your life. I wish you could of met my dad Earl. He was so full of life and so loved all his brothers and sisters. Oral and Vera took him in when he was a young boy anHow I wish things could have been different for all of the family losing their mother at such a young age.

    Big hugs to you.

  • Joey,

    It is great to hear from you! Glad you like the photos. I think Grandma Vera looks so beautiful and vibrant in the portraits! It has been a tremendous blessing to have her as a Grandma. I wish I could of met your dad too. Grandma always speaks so fondly of all her siblings. They seemed to have been really bonded. How nice it would’ve been had their mother lived to a ripe age. She sounds like she was a wonderful mother.

    Big hugs to you too!

  • Diana Moon

    Angie, What a wonderful tribute to your Grandmother. My Mom, Vera and Elsie all look so much alike. I have such wonderful memories of times at the farm in Rolla, and the many visits when the Disrud’s came to Montana in the summers. These pictures will be a treasure to all of you as the years pass. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Love you, Diana

  • Diana, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I have wonderful memories of your mother and Grandma’s her siblings…at least the ones I had the pleasure of meeting. It’s sad that some passed so early in life. Whenever I think of your mom I see her smile and hear her laughter in my head. She sure seemed to enjoy life! Thanks for looking.:.)


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