Washington, D.C. — March 20th carries special meaning for me. Last year it was the day that my husband David and I put our boy Ludwig to sleep after nearly 18 years together. Losing Ludwig was especially hard for David, who had found Ludwig and his sister Frances when they were just little alley cats in Pittsburgh.
To honor Ludwig's memory, I drew this illustration for David to keep on his desk. We have so many wonderful photographs of Ludwig, but it was this one that really struck me as especially representative of his character, as well as his relationship with David. There are so many little moments, everyday moments, in our lives that we easily take for granted. But it is precisely those moments that build up in our hearts and minds that keep their spirit alive.
March 20th also marks the birthday of Lolo (my grandfather) who passed away almost four years ago. My fondest memories of Lolo were his annual trips to the U.S. to visit our family. When I think about his visits, there are a few objects that really stand out in my mind: his morning cup of black coffee, his stack of hardcover nonfiction books on the bed stand, the crisp, white clothes he wore, and the sight of him snoring on our couch. Above all, I remember his slippers and the soft padding noise they made as he shuffled around my parents' house.
Before Lolo passed away, we took a trip to Manila to visit him and my extended family. My brother and I explored every corner of his bedroom and bathroom, taking photos of whatever cool things we spotted. My brother took a photograph of his penny loafer-style slippers set against the teal-green carpet in his bedroom. It was such an evocative image that captured the essence of how I saw him—a classy, hard-working man who enjoyed his leisure time when he had it. As March 20th approached this year, I knew I wanted to send my father a letter commemorating his father's birthday. An illustration of those slippers were the perfect tribute.