"My birthday is in April, and that year a flat, brown-paper-wrapped package arrived in the mail, addressed by David. Immediately I knew the package was a painting. I ripped away the paper and held up the framed canvas. It had browns and blues and gold and red. I turned it around, trying to 'read' it. It wasn't signed, and for a long moment I didn't know top from bottom. I thought it was an abstract that hadn't made it to the dump. I turned the painting one way and then the other."
"An image popped into view, just like that. One moment I couldn't tell if the painting had subject matter, and the next moment there was a profile of Deedie gazing out a window, with light shining on her face. Her dark wavy hair bounded down the back of her head. In the image, as in life, she had seriousness and depth. It was a beautiful painting, a fine likeness. And in years since, I have pondered the fact that my father painted this portrait of my mother and sent it to me on my nineteenth birthday, when I was far away and unhappy, though I hadn't said a word." —Helen Park Bigelow