She, Lebanese, married my father, English. It is easy to extrapolate into a history for them. How accurate it is, purposes clear, can be allowed. He was 40, she, 18. Her father was, by some quirk, a Presbyterian minister. That probably led to a common position between my Christian father and grandfather. My father was a widower with four children who needed care, the oldest only 7 years younger than my mother. For her own reasons, she was keen to get out of Lebanon. That I was her first child and male set the tone of her behaviour, directed towards me! There were four others in my family, only one sister. My mother followed my father faithfully, pulled by other men she treated with appropriate friendship. She was faithful to her married purpose except that my father’s first family was hardly acknowledged; a guarded friendship without love.
When she saw the painting, she declared her nose was not that big. She had dropped off to sleep as I painted, nose unchanged. Her nose, shrunk to a more reasonable size, would have added nothing comparable to her relaxed and restful state.