Propped on my desk is a cherished photo, taken after my daughter was born in 2018. I’m sitting next to my mother and grandmother with my newborn swaddled in my arms. We’re wearing matching headbands and beaming with happiness. I was too sleep deprived at the time to fully appreciate the scene, but five years later, I know I’m lucky to have captured that moment: four generations of females in my family enjoying each other, featuring our new baby girl.
My mother, who organized the photograph, knew that time was special and fleeting. When the photo was taken, my then 87-year-old grandmother lived in her own apartment. But a year later, she fell and broke her hip, and before she could recover, the pandemic started. A broken hip followed by extreme social isolation drastically affected her mobility, strength, and cognitive function. Her mind and body deteriorated quickly, and she will likely spend the rest of her life in an assisted living facility.