Amanda Portrait – Day 7


Today’s portrait is kind of cheating because I drew this back in 1978 or 79. It is a pencil sketch of Amanda, done from life, when she was brushing her hair. She is pictured with our sister.

This drawing came as a big surprise to me when I found it last summer.It was in a sketchbook in a forgotten dresser in our old house.  I didn’t even remember doing it. I love it and intend to have it framed someday.

I always felt badly that Amanda’s hair fell out, because she loved brushing hair. She was incredibly brave about the whole thing.but it was a serious loss. Alopecia is evil. It’s not like she doesn’t have enough problems to deal with.

But she has a good sense of humor about her bald head. I call her my “Buddha” or my “Little Beluga.”

I hope that the judge will give Amanda a chance to ask for what she wants.

Her guardian used the proverbial wrecking ball by involving the legal system in our dispute, smashing any hope for real communication and pulverizing already fractured relationships.

He should have just backed off and allowed Amanda to come and stay with me for a few days. Instead, he chose to try to prove a point, heralding himself as the boss, giving the finger to our long and nurturing Sister History. It showed extreme disrespect to Amanda and me both.

When he had the attorney write to me in 2016, inviting me to petition the court if I wanted to fulfill Amanda’s wish, that pretty much sealed the deal. Since that time it has been all-out war, and it is Amanda who has been funding it.

Amanda has Down syndrome and is currently being held by her guardian, who is not allowing us to have contact. On March 27 it will be 8 months since I have spoken with my sister. I am doing a portrait of her every day until I hear from Amanda.

A few warning signals of guardianship abuse:

1. The guardian and/or conservator treats you as an outsider instead of a relative, friend, or loved one.

2. The guardian/conservator sees to it that your loved one doesn’t have a phone.

3. When you visit, the guardian “hovers” or even employs someone to hover so you’re not alone with your loved one.

4. You are denied input about your loved one’s care – the doctor won’t talk to you – you are shut out.

5. The guardian/conservator refuses to take your call or answer your questions.

6. Your loved one doesn’t get his/her mail.

7. If your loved one is in a nursing home, you’re only allowed to visit in the dining room or recreation room.

8. You start seeing questionable documents and realize financial accounts are closed or changed and the statements have been diverted to the guardian/conservator.

9. You discover the taxes haven’t been paid — or even filed.

10. The nursing facility tells you when you visit, you “upset” your family member or upset the staff.

11. Items are missing from your loved one’s home.

12. Your loved one appears to be more sluggish, perhaps even dazed.

The days of guardians running the show are coming to an end. There is help available.  Click the link below:

About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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