In October, I made big plans to go see my family in Florida during Thanksgiving week. However, a few weeks before the trip, I took my guinea pig Archie to the vet because she had been having some breathing problems. The vet ended up finding a lump, did an x-ray, and together with the vet we ended up deciding to schedule a spay.
However, the vets ended up finding that the mass was far more along than expected and inoperable. Instead of bringing her home for the road to recovery, we had to say goodbye that evening.
This crisis ended up coinciding with the trip, and leading up to the surgery I made the choice to shorten the trip and change my flights. Instead of leaving on Saturday and coming back on Friday, I left on Tuesday and came back Friday. So the trip was quite short, and rather rushed as a result
But still, it meant the world to me to walk through my grandparents' house for what will likely be the last time in my life. Even though it was empty, even though it didn't smell the way I remembered, even though it wasn't filled with the people I love.
I tried to capture as much as I could, both to capture a place that meant so much to me, and to use as inspiration for the story I'm illustrating. I miss them so much. But I'm glad my aunt was there with me as a steward of the Misura household.
While I was there, I found a discreet orange tree growing in the brush in the jungle. I climbed in and picked an orange. I like to imagine my grandfather eating and orange an throwing the seeds into the brush, and months later, a fruit tree springing into existence. It makes his impact on the world feel more tangible and everlasting.
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Mansfield, MA.