A Mother's Love
Oil on Canvas
24 x 36
On July 24th , 2007 I donated a painting, “Victoria, A Mother’s Love”
to Shand's Hospital's AGF building, (7th floor) as hope and inspiration to other parents who might be going through a
similar experience to what our family went through two years ago. I am a traditional
oil painter and was compelled to paint the image of my daughter Victoria and I when she was at Shand’s. During a traumatic labor she was born and stopped breathing. The
doctors resuscitated her and her breathing was very sporadic for about 36 hours. When
she began to stabilize they realized that many of her secondary organs (digestive tract, liver and kidneys) were not functioning
properly. At first no one knew what had happened, so the paramedics from Shand’s
came and placed her in an incubated ambulance to Gainesville.
After only holding her twice,
I was still in Munroe Regional Medical
Center recuperating from a c-section and my husband John went with Victoria. For about two days the doctors were not sure what the problem was, after testing they
realized that a lack of oxygen caused temporary damage to the digestive tract and other organs. As a young infant, she was expected to fully recuperate from this ordeal within two weeks. Their prognosis was correct and within two of the longest weeks of our lives she was a healthy and happy
baby ready to be brought home to meet her older brother Johnny.
Once everything had settled down at home and we got into a comfortable routine, I went back to painting during the
children’s naps and sometimes in the evenings. It took me some time to
be able to look at those photos of her in the hospital but one photo stood out more than any other. It was a photo of me holding my new daughter, taken by her Godmother and namesake, Victoria Marshall. After a c-section you are not allowed to drive for two weeks. When my college friend heard what happened she drove from West Palm Beach
to drive me to the hospital. The photograph portrayed a love without words that
only a mother and child could have.
When I decided to do the painting everyone
asked why I wanted to paint such a difficult time, but I just felt compelled to paint it.
As I began painting I would feel my eyes well up with tears but as it progressed it became very cathartic. I realized that although this was a very personal piece it could have a much higher purpose by giving others
hope when it seems like there is none to be found. So I made a canvas copy of
the original and will be donating it to Shand’s Hospital to be placed on the seventh floor of the Pediatric wing. I hope others who are dealing with such a traumatic time will find some comfort and
hope in the image of Victoria. I
could never thank those dedicated physicians and staff enough for all that they did for our daughter. I hope the painting gives them inspiration and a feeling of accomplishment as well.
Oil on Canvas
24" x 30"