Though I graduated to sketch pads and pencils, my slate was kept handy for drafts or doodling, things I wanted to express but not necessarily keep. Bound paper was premium while scratch paper easily lost, so the slate was a trusted friend, a solid reminder that jotting down does not necessarily mean keeping for a lifetime.
I was never a serious, angst-driven artist, but I enjoyed copying pictures of horses, graduating to humans without, than with clothing, and onward to scenery while I was driven from coast to coast by my personal chauffeur, my husband.
I used my sketching when there was a need... making a book for a son or coloring pages or puzzles for children in my care and losing all those materials during the last move across country. They were for a season and that too has passed.
Almost seven years ago, I again produced a book in a time of need. Mandy The Alpha Dog along with her pack was born to quiet the fears of a young girl not understanding the need of no longer having a family unit with Mom and Dad, but a scattered existence with longed for and finally granted visitation to an important person in her life. From that book came more stories and a collaboration with authors throughout the world to aid children's charities while Mandy's pack aided animal welfare.
This year 2015, I fortunately have a dynamite editor/publisher at Tri-Swan Press, LLC and a book, a coloring book, and a collection hit the shelves this year.
During this period of writing my home life has been chaotic and sometimes fraught with overwhelming odds in favor of saying I love you to an important person for a final time. The highs have been golden while the lows have simmered in a stew of morass.
The above portrait was 'commissioned' for our fiftieth anniversary and done by Mike Bollerud, an artist I was blessed to meet on Facebook. I was able to present this portrait to my husband, Paul for Christmas.
Paul has been in critical health for over four months but I am happy to say as of this writing as I close out the year 2015, he is on the mend. He has been breathing on his own for twelve hours of each day for the past week, an indication he will be able to be weaned from the trach which was needed when he contracted a virus while in emergency care for a minor problem. He has regained a major portion of the weight he lost and is starting mobility in his limbs. The fear of brain damage is low as he is interacting with his daily caregivers and our family on this side of the country.
I stole the following from my second born son, Patrick Shene. It expresses my sentiments entirely ~
Why do we wait until someone is dying to finally tell them how much we love them? We are all dying. Some faster than others, but every single one of us.
Waiting until someone is on their deathbed to say it is not a sign of our opening our hearts more, but that we spent too much of our lives keeping our hearts shut and needlessly locked away.
God forbid someone we love should pass unexpectedly. Then we spend the rest of our days pining about how much they meant to us, while forgetting to just say that to the ones still right beside us, as if they will live forever.
Do you ever worry that you say, "I love you" too much to your friends and family? I doubt it even easily possible. Tell them. Show them.
Will you spend time on your own deathbed wishing you had said and shown it more, or cherishing every single moment you had?