Patricia Broderick
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By Matthew Broderick

Patricia Broderick

By Matthew Broderick


An accomplished painter, my mother was also a playwright and a television writer. After being diagnosed with lung cancer in the mid-1980s, she had a lung removed and underwent radiation. Fifteen years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Illness gave my mother less time to paint, but when she did, she painted frequently about what was on her mind: fear, hope, pain. It’s likely she was thinking about Ireland, where our family’s house is surrounded by sheep, when she painted Myself in the Hospital Worrying About the Sheep Because It’s Cold. It’s strange that there are people in the hospital and at the same time sheep sleeping in a field. I find it comforting and scary, in a way.

My mother was a fighter, but she also felt strongly that telling people to change their attitude about being sick was close to telling them, “It’s your fault.” She did not think it was a person’s fault when he or she got sick and she didn’t think a person should get too much credit for getting well.

Even so, my mother was tireless in finding the best care she could, and in doing everything possible to get well. But in 2003, another tumor was found in her remaining lung. There was nothing that could be done for that. She died on Nov. 18, 2003, at 78. She loved painting, and she loved for people to see her art.

 
To see the artwork of Patricia Broderick, please refer to the print magazine.