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  • Deb Puretz

Covid Art 27: Letter to Heidi

My dear friend Heidi is seated third from the right in a pleated skirt. She was perhaps 12 or 14 years old in this school picture. I didn’t meet her until she had five children and two grandchildren. In deference to her age, I called her ‘Tante’ (Aunt) Heidi for the 40 years I knew her, until she died.

This is the only art piece in this collage where I have personally written a note as an integral part of the art. It is the only place that I pay homage to her directly. Her friendship helped me define who I am. I often wonder about why she had such a huge impact on me but I think I know although I don’t always like to tell the truth about this. My mom was diagnosed with depression and then dementia while I was a teenager, and I think I recognized that I needed surrogate moms when I realized my mom’s emotions and memories would not be reliable going forward. It is sad but on the flip side, it enabled me to get to know a few very kind and wonderful older women who did help bring me up.

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