Sunday, September 1, 2013

When I Hurt...


This morning I caught my breath...it has been a year since Daniel and I made our trip to Trinidad,  CA to be with Thomas & Lisa (my oldest son and girlfriend).  The long weekend was perfect in every way... even Daniel catching poison oak was a blessing because it got him into the doctors office. While at the appointment Daniel asked the doctor about a lump he felt on the side of his neck.  Most of you know the rest of the story...(you can read it here)
A year has passed and Daniel is doing wonderful for which I am very grateful. Nowadays I'm surprised that whenever I talk about it I begin to cry. During the year of turmoil I held my emotions in check (most days).  I wouldn't dare give thought to the idea he wouldn't beat cancer!

Why am I telling you this? Usually I share sketchbook pages that reflect joy, travel,  adventure, and all around happy experiences. Rarely do I share pages of when I'm at my lowest.  For some reason I feel compelled to share my experience of how I process emotions in my sketch journals. Does somebody need to read this today or is it part of my healing process to let it go? I don't know the answer to that question.  I simply feel I am called to do so.

On my page, I AM SO TIRED OF BAD NEWS! I write that along with Daniel my dad's cancer has returned. It's been nine months since I wrote this page. Today he is being treated at the City of Hope and he's not doing very good. My heart aches to see him so sick. I save all his phone messages, little notes... I want to treasure each and every minute with him. Please keep him in prayer. He's name is Wes.

On the page OUCH! I was raw with emotion and wrote some pretty strong words... I needed to get out. When I write something like this I'm conscious that these books will be around after I'm gone.  I don't want my words to hurt somebody I love that is why I'll use a water soluble pen. When I am ready I use a wet brush and smear the words.


We all need a safe place to express ourselves without fear or concern of what others may think. I hope
♥♥♥Me and my Dad ♥♥♥
through sharing these pages I've opened your mind to ways of healing through art and words.

Happy Sketching!
Brenda

23 comments:

  1. First, I am so sorry to hear such sad news. I will certainly keep you all in my thoughts.
    Second, I am so glad you shared...I know that helps me cope, and I also learned from your technique...I rarely write my thoughts down because I don't want them to survive me, but will now use your water-soluble idea when I need to vent. Besides, you are so generous to share all the best things about being in this world; surely you're entitled to share the other things, too.

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  2. I guess this is why sketchbooks have absordable paper – for all emotions.
    Thank you for sharing!

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  3. I'm one who needed this. We all tend to share the good times and not the bad, especially in the blogosphere. When that's all you see, it makes your own life seem out of balance and heavy. I am encouraged to put both the ups and down into my sketchbook. Prayers for your Dad and for you. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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  4. Thank you, Brenda. Of course there are many of us who need what you are sharing here. My thoughts and healing wishes with your dad. And I rejoice with you over your son's good health.

    When I write something I do no want to outlast me but NEEDED to write, I paste a water color painting or a photograph over the page/s. Looks nice, and I know what was under there and how much good it did me to write it out.

    Blessings to you.

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  5. Thanks for sharing these very private pages Brenda, I will get Wes in my prayers. I lost my Dad 5 years ago, and treasure the memory of our last conversation, and I'm so glad I told him 'I love you Dad'...

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  6. Thank you for sharing this, Brenda, these private expressions of emotions. A special part of art is it's healing qualities, I think... I send you all my prayers & wishes for good health for your famiily...

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  7. I shall keep both your father and you in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. When my father was dying from Lou Gehrig s and my mother from cancer I struggled with my thoughts and was afraid to write them all down for fear some day they would be read. I should have done what you have done. I am sure it has helped.

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  8. Brenda, thank you so much for following your intuition and sharing how you use journaling as an outlet for your emotions. What a powerful strategy! I also read your post about Daniel's discovery of the same cancer that challenged my own father and was touched by your ability to share what for me has remained unwritten and un-imaged for so many years. Thanks for bringing light to a dark place in my heart.

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  9. I like being reminded of this concept which so wonderfully shared with us at your workshop at Dillman's this spring.
    I remember opening one of your journals to see the "smeary" words. And then you explained about it.
    Greg and I are good "pray-ers" and will put Wes into our prayer list right away!!! Actually I keep a note on my computer with my prayer list on it so every morning I check it out. I love the photo of Wed...what a handsome guy. I am sure that it is so hard to see him ill. Hugs and prayers for you too! Ginny

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  10. What more can I say that others have not said? Other than life is all about gains and losses, and we grow in Spirit and in Love of God through them all. I have lost parents, daughter in law and husband, but in each loss I have learned more about myself and much much more about the mercy and grace of God. Miz dee

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  11. Thank you, Brenda. I do not hurt often and have been lucky in the health of my Jan and our kids, who are all approaching middle age, that most dangerous of times. But, Like you, I think of my sketchbooks and their impact after I am gone. We will continue to send good thoughts your way.

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  12. Thanks for sharing the emotional stuff. I relate because I have created pages just like yours.

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  13. Wes will be in my prayers as he battles this cancer...again. God is so faithful and He knows what is ahead for your dad. He promises to be with him no matter what trial he faces....he is not alone. Nor are you, his sweet daughter. God created a special bond between a Father and his daughter. It is very apparent through the sparkle in both of your eyes that you have a very special relationship. I pray that you will allow your heart to find healing through the words that you write and the sketches that you paint, but most of all to find the peace that only God can give.

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  14. Praying for your Dad and you.

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  15. Your attitude always inspires me.

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  16. Thank you for all the lovely words of encouragement. It's been a rough year and yet I have SO MUCH to be grateful for. I consider your comments a blessing upon us. Hugs and Love to you all.

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  17. Brenda,

    Your blog is a gift I look forward to opening every time it arrives. The authenticity with which you communicate is powerful and freeing. I am greatful for your work, your self expression, and the life you model and live and love so well. God bless the work of your hands. I appreciate you.

    Gretchen Sand

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    1. Gretchen, Thank you for the message of encouragement and strength!

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  18. If someone asks you, are you a healer, you can reply with a firm, YES! Healing comes in many different ways, sometimes in ways we may never see nor understand. Center your hurts and your frustrations to your inner spirit self, it will know what to do with all that emotion. In the meantime, I send you, your father, your family and friends a circle of warmth and love. Whatever it is each one of you take from this experience will be it's natural course that each and everyone of you will learn to balance out and find harmony with it all. Namaste= I see the divinity in you that is also in me! Ann

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  19. Oh, so sorry to hear this news, Brenda. Savor every moment with your beloved Dad. He's in my prayers as well as you and those who love him so. Times like these are not easy and have to worked through. Thankfully, you have your sketchbook as a means of coping with these difficulties. I appreciate your sharing and love that you blur out the words that others don't need to see...just for you things. You have a sweet gift, thanks for telling us about all aspects of your life. It means a lot.

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  20. Dear Brenda - I am so sorry your dad is not doing well. Sounds like you have had a full plate this past year. I will keep you and your dad in my prayers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on getting ones feelings out. I know that during a really bad time I had kept a journal of pages of all that was hurting me and I remember when things got better I knew I had to burn them and that is what I did - felt good to get rid of all that bad stuff. Take care and I will be looking up for you.

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  21. Brenda, I think you were meant to write this - and quite possibly (selfishly I might say) this was for me. My husband died very quickly of a rapid cancer 2 years ago yesterday. A month ago, the oncologist assured me there was nothing we could have done to find it, catch it and cure it. Sometimes it just happens. During the 6 months he was dying, I posted only the happy and we made it happy and a time of being thankful. I have one distorted picture of me screaming what about me-thankfully that moment didn't last long. Did you know 1-800-Mir-acle is actually a phone number? I haven't dialed it, but we discussed the possibility when we learned the news. Like you I think of those who will read these journals after I am gone and on occasion I have glued the pages together. I have posted once since Doug left (www.campsparky.blogspot.com) and while I started writing again in my "Camp Sparky Journals" only because my daughter reminded me there are still stories to tell, it is not the same. I paint nothing and forget to tell stories that should be in the books if for nothing more than the grand-kids when they are older and I am gone too. I had a great time doing the 75 ink sketches although I didn't submit my paper. Thank you for the inspiration. It was quite the motivation and I have signed up for 2 classes - I am struggling through perspective and will begin a watercolor soon. In journaling, I believe the sad belongs with the happy, the good with the bad. That is real life. Within 3 years, my father died, my husband and then my mother. Good and bad. Happy and sad. Doug and I made a pact to stay thankful- we believed being thankful everyday would prevent suffering - and it did - and..... to avoid a spiritual crisis. I was to be the gatekeeper of all things that would impact that decision. I was to be Doug's spiritual protector and sick as he was, he became mine. It worked. I am thankful that your husband is doing so well. I am thankful you have each other. I wish the best for your father. I used to sit across from mine, watch him sleep and tell myself I am just soaking him up. People find ways to make "it" - whatever "it" is work - and by gosh it did work. I still feel that love from all three - and that is very sustaining. The one thing I have learned from all this is that if a person stays thankful, it is very difficult to be unhappy. My best wishes to you and Daniel for continued good health and several thousand more days of plain old thanksgiving....for every little thing. I will pray for your father. Thank you. Nancy

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    1. Nancy, Thank you for the heartfelt and inspiring words. You are a woman of faith, strength, hope and courage. From your comments here I sense you have a way with words. I am very happy to hear you are finding your way back to your creative self. Have you seen my short video? I speak of loosing my creative voice and finding it again. If you get a chance, please view it http://vimeo.com/66869642
      I would like to reward your completion of the 75 day sketch challenge. Please email me the requested information.I hope our paths will cross.
      Hugs,Brenda

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