Charlotte Tegan

In early 2016, my grandmother was diagnosed with a multitude of cancers and needed to undergo immediate surgery and chemotherapy. As far as the story I’ve been told goes — she didn’t even realise she was sick until she went for a checkup. A few months later, my uncles were due to celebrate their 60th birthday, so the entire family traveled from all over the globe to spend the weekend together in Rockhampton, central Queensland. It was a time of celebration and joy, but we all felt a secret sadness under the surface. We weren’t sure how sick my grandmother really was; no one uttered a word about it for fear of starting a family-wide cascade of tears. I bought a disposable camera with me, and we passed it around the birthday party one person at a time to take family photos, just to capture everyone’s perspective. This is a photograph I took of my grandparents before the big family dinner, in their sitting room full of family photos. I love them so very much.

Charlotte was featured in Romka 10 in 2017.