Anniversary Exhibit- Susan Carmen-Duffy

Letters to the Saints:

This story starts with my maternal grandparents. It should be noted that they never had a penny to spare, yet they were always sharing everything they had. They never owned their own home, they never complained about not having enough, they were always, ALWAYS there when we needed them. 

When I was little, my grandparents used to visit and bring us special treats for lunch. Cold cuts, pickles, olives, chips, orange crush and wink soda. It was QUITE special to us. We would gather around the kitchen table, share lunch and stories and enjoy each other’s company. It was lovely.

Toward the end of this shared meal, my grandfather would push his chair back from the table and exclaim, 

“WHELP, I am gonna go write a letter to the saints!” 

It was quite a long time until I understood what this meant. I took my grandfather at his word, and I wondered how exactly he would get his letters to the saints. It made me ponder the logistics. I thought it was a marvelous opportunity. I wondered what my grandfather would actually say to the saints and if he found that they answered him. So many questions. 

Once I was a bit older, I understood that my grandfather was actually going to take a nap. I was a bit disappointed in that and I definitely was more intrigued with writing a letter to God’s saints than taking a nap. As a middle aged adult, I can see where both have some merit. 

As I walk this journey, I am grateful for my faith. It has facilitated strength in the darkest of times, and celebrates the greatest of joys. My faith journey has been deep. I have never questioned the presence of God, I have certainly questioned my journey. 

Letters to the saints celebrates my journey in an artistic way. The seed was planted as I wrote a letter one very snowy morning to my father. It was the third anniversary of his passing. As the snow fell, my hand flew across the paper saying all the things that I never got to say. It was a release of sorts, it was a gift certainly. As I wrote, I remembered that sweet memory of my grandfather. Suddenly, it all seemed to make sense. 

Letters to the Saints will share my heart, my journey, and my gratitude. 

I hope you will join me to celebrate my fourth anniversary at the Hungerford building. 

Susan Carmen-Duffy – 4th Anniversary exhibit at the Hunterford.