Josef and Agnes

Josef and Agnes came to Canada 33 years ago as refugees with nothing but a suitcase and baby on the way. Separated from their family and without speaking much English at all, they started an upholstery store on Barton Street in Hamilton. They began stitching together a future that would soon be filled to the brim with art and purpose. Now with two amazing and talented daughters, they’ve had to conquer new changes with health and time dwindling faster than many of us can keep up with.

Josef has Alzheimer’s and Agnes has unconditionally cared for him through it all. Their daughter Melissa asked me if I would be interested in capturing their lives today. What an honour to paint a love story in such a true and rare form. We met at Josef’s nursing home and I had the absolute pleasure of celebrating love that isn’t always as flashy as what’s shown in movies and love songs.

Josef and Agnes were like Tuesdays. So calm and connected through sometimes good and sometimes bad days. When asked to get closer, they’d bump noses and let out the sweetest giggle because they knew how good it felt to do something so simple yet affectionate. Their hands hold the fabric of the world that they’ve built around them. How lucky to be present and witness an unwavering vow to hold one another for all the time we’re given.

“It’s not a picture perfect family, but it’s ours - all thanks to my parents.”

Rachel ConnellComment