Retrouvailles: (n.) the joy of meeting or finding someone again after a long separation; rediscovery.
Natasha is a 69-year-old, highly educated, unique, vegetarian, self-proclaimed hippie who proudly shares with anyone she meets that her claim to fame is that she attended Woodstock as a starry-eyed 19-year-old, precisely 50 years ago.
Roslyn is a feisty, creative, 92-year-old artist, unabashedly flaunting a bright purple streak in her hair for the past decade.
These two older adults, through the realities and disappointments in life, readily acknowledge that family dynamics can be complicated. What brings this mother-daughter duo quickly to the brink of tears is their shared longing, a desperate plea really, to see each other again after over 30 years of estrangement.
The tragedy of it all is that Roslyn tearfully, wistfully can not even remember why her and her daughter stopped talking or what led to their decades-long estrangement.Two years ago, however, Roslyn made an effort to reconnect and called Natasha on the phone. From talking on the phone the past couple years, Natasha got the sense that her mother needs her now as her health is declining.
Natasha described her desire to reconnect with her mom by saying, “We are getting to know each other again. She knows some things about me but she doesn’t really know me and I do not know her. I want to see my mom to get closure, to try and mend our relationship. I would like to give my mom a hug. For her to see me one last time before her vision is gone would mean everything to me.”
Wish of a Lifetime, in partnership with GHC Housing Partners, was honored to give Natasha and Roslyn the long-awaited gift of Retrouvailles. On February 20th, 2019, Natasha was flown from her home to South Carolina to visit her mother for the first time in 30 years. These women enjoyed several days of visiting, learning about each other’s lives and reconciling.
Natasha called it, “The most healing and loving week.” Both mom and daughter left smiling, with immense gratitude and tears in their eyes.
Photos courtesy of Anorda Photography.