To live in this world
Not a year I'd like to repeat.
It began extremely well with strong art sales and commissioned paintings. I was excitedly planning my next Thing, as I normally do in early winter. Most of my year is planned out by that time with some wiggle room for spontaneous projects. Then the news came sometime in the spring that my Dad was sick. A week later we learned it was terminal. Everything happened so suddenly that it was hard to adjust and I was a wreck. I finished up the art work I needed to complete and then cleared my calendar as much as possible. My family and I came up with plans for medical treatment, transportation to the hospital out of area, aids to help his quality of life, nursing and care team, end of life discussions. I booked camping nearby his house, as a sort of hotel room so that I could be there to help out.
I wasn't able to do enough. I wanted to do so much more.
The thing about grief is that it allows you to talk about love. Every visit, every phone call, every text, we spoke about the little things. Things like, the cardinals and the deer that I saw on my walks outside when Dad couldn't leave his bed anymore. Things like updates on his grandchildren, what we ate for dinner, how nice the weather was.
We also talked about the big things. What he wanted to do when it was time to die. How to celebrate and to honour him after death. That the Spirit World is beautiful and Mom was waiting for him there. Always, always we ended each talk with I Love You.
Not long after the Apple Route Studio Tour and just a few weeks after I seriously injured my ankle, Dad left this world. Expected and yet sudden after having returned to the land he loved in Alderville. I had a feeling he was waiting to be back home before leaving us. And that's what happened.
Here's what I learned from going through this (which was much different than how my mother died). It's the 'in between' that is the heart of life. Those insignificant every day moments are what bonds us. Sure, the big things are important and memorable too, but there's magic in the every day. Those are the stories. Those are the moments you giggle about years later. Those are the moments filled with the most love.
And so, my dear friends, I hope you have some grace for me and understand why I was inconsistent with my art updates last year. My soul's priority was to love, grieve, and everything in between.
I will keep you updated on my latest work and perhaps some insight into my creative process.