Before she was old enough to even talk very well, Amanda was singing. My mom snapped a Polariod of her ate age two, singing into a jump rope, with one shoe on and the other foot bare. The picture pretty much tells you all you need to know about Amanda!
I have no idea what she was singing. She sometimes made up her own songs, which she belted with as much enthusiasm as one coming through the stereo speakers. But if she was singing along to the record player, my guess is that it was probably Englebert Humperdinck’s “Kiss Me Goodbye.” That was my mother’s favorite song and at the end of it, Amanda and I would finish dramatically by saying, “Darling, kiss me goodbye.”
This was in 1972, before the days of cell phones and karaoke machines. Baby pics from this generation are on film. The colors fade and change. It was a lot harder to get candid shots than it is today.
Amanda has Down syndrome and is currently being held by her guardian, a sibling who is not allowing us to have contact. On March 27 it has been 8 months since I have spoken with my sister. I am doing a portrait of her every day until I hear from Amanda.
“I’m the guardian and you’re not.” That’s the reason her guardian gave when he refused Amanda’s request to visit me in summer 2016.
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: