I met Jennifer Maloney when I was a student at Hunter College in the 1990s. Jennifer was born in 1971 with Osteogenesis imperfect.
She was from St. Michael, Barbados in the West Indies. Jennifer came to New York with her mother and siblings in 1979. She attended public elementary and high schools before coming to Hunter College to major in Sociology; earning high grades. Once Jennifer confided in me that her small size which endeared her to so many people, was a source of frustration for her, and it was her perception that because of this, people did not appear to take her seriously. She then asked me to take a photograph of her and Felix, the man she loved, who was blind. I do not particularly like to take photos of people, I find the inner beauty that I so often notice, gets lost in a pose that the subject usually makes when they see the lens. For me the barrier of the camera, between the subject and myself, interferes with my being able to get my most honest shot. Sometimes the subject is so moving that the photo takes itself, as it did when I got this lovely result seen in the photograph posted above. Unfortunately, Jennifer never lived to see this photograph, soon after this photo was taken, Jennifer had an accident and died. Apparently she had been Christmas shopping with Felix, and at that time was using a new wheel chair.
As they made their way through the New York City streets, one of the wheels from Jennifer's wheelchair slipped off the curb, pitching her on the ground where she hit her head. The weight of the large motorized chair and the velocity of the fall proved too powerful for Jennifer's small body. She died at the hospital the next day after unsuccessful surgery; and now I share this prayer card with you (though I did not take the photo on the prayer card and apologize for being unable to find out where to credit this other than to list the funeral home where I initially received the card which I have also posted below).
At her wake, I gave the original photo, Jennifer and Felix, to her mother, Mrs. Maloney, who immediately remarked that she'd always known she was,"on borrowed time from the moment Jenny was born," and so she permitted Jennifer to be as active as possible. Hopefully the photo, Jennifer and Felix, preserves the borrowed time with the memory of an inspirational soul who loved life. For me, these are the times to offer details about art work: when we want to honor and cherish. A copy of this photo received an honorable mention from the INSIGHTS 2004 Exhibition sponsored by The American Printing House for the Blind. It is also posted on my web-site.