Not long after I arrived home, my mom was out of surgery and on hospice rest. She was barely eating and couldn’t really speak. Prior to her relapse, I had often asked to take her photo, but she usually declined, feeling self-conscious about her appearance. I was afraid that I would regret not being able to capture a photo of her, so I suggested an alternative approach - taking a portrait of her hands. To my surprise, she agreed, requesting that I take the photo with her mother’s rosary. That same day, she received a visit from Father Delcambre, our local pastor. During their meeting, they conversed about the simple aspects of life, such as the birds that brought her joy. As night fell, I made my way to the mausoleum where my mother would be laid to rest.
During this time, I was distracting myself by looking into other works by James Nakagawa, finding inspiration in the portraits he took as part of his Kai series, which he began in 1998 upon realizing that his father was dying of cancer.