> 2005 - 2010



Painted bronze and wood, 2006, 21"x12"x22".

Everyone wants to adopt my mother. Thirteen years widowed, she has picked up the pieces of her life and reassembled them to fit her unplanned independence. Shortly after my father died, she was invited to swim with a small group of women who had recently taken lessons to conquered their fear of water. More women joined, and before long everyone in town referred to them as The Swimmin' Women Social Club. Two times a week they catch up on the latest gossip as they walk or swim leisurely laps back and forth across the pool. Afterwards, they swap books and advice over coffee. One day a month is designated pie day in honor of a month's worth of birthdays and celebrations.

At first, Mom was one of the few widows, but now only one woman goes home to a husband at the end of the morning swim, and another leaves to visit her husband in the nursing home. One by one, she helped guide her friends through the murky social etiquette of the newly widowed and once again she has company at the movies and margarita nights.

But at the end of the day, they all go home alone, surrounded by the memories of their coupled and uncoupled lives, making plans for the coming day.

- Janet Geib Pretti

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