Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Holding Close and Letting Go


Letting go is hard…especially when you don’t want to. Trying to hang on to a dream
Holding my Dad's hand
(or someone) is like holding onto a rope that was slipping through my hands. The tighter I held on, the deeper the rope cut into my flesh…until holding on was more painful than letting go.
 

If you’ve followed my blog you’ve likely recall a difficult time for our family. Within 9 months my Step-Dad and Dad both died and my son was diagnosed with cancer. 

At the time my son was diagnosed he and his lovely wife had two children, a 15 month old son and a 3 month old little girl. I learned so much about faith, strength and love by watching my daughter-in-love. Heidi is amazing, full of love, grace, faith and beauty. I learned how strong my son was, too. We did what we could to help out through different forms of support (time, money, prayer…) and love. I could not accepted cancer might take his life…he was only 31. Three years later he is still in remission. 

A few months ago my son accepted a job in Tennessee. Within three weeks they were gone…my heart broke. There is very little we have any control over…actually nothing. Letting go is hard…especially when you don’t want to. 

Time has a way of taking away the sting. Art has always been where I go to heal. Part of the healing process was painting the three children (yes they had another child). Studying their faces was meditative and healing. Painting is my way of honoring, loving and burning their images in my mind.  The day after I finished painting Joshua I had something happen. His portrait looked so warm and alive but when I touched the paper it was cold. I was startled because he was alive and present when I was painting him…I expected the image to be warm like his skin. It made me cry. 
Caleb

The process of painting the children was healing. I grew in the process. Anything that stops growing begins to die and I'm still growing which means I am alive.
We’re learning how to stay connected in different ways. But it’s not the same as reading stories, trains rides, trips to the zoo, hugs, marshmallows…


Looking forward to seeing Heidi and the kids this summer!

Happy painting!
Brenda

22 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us. It reads like a letter from a friend. I too find healing in painting. With warm regards.

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    1. Cherrie, Your words hit home...Like a letter from a friend. Thank you!

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    2. Thanks ever so much for sharing this touching story.

      Blessings in Abundance

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  2. Brenda your posting here truly touched my heart - I honor your tender heart and your deep love for your family and those beautiful grand babies. I can feel the ache of your longing. Your surprise at finding the picture was cold did not come as a surprise to me - when I'm deeply involved emotionally with a painting and have invested much of my soul into it, I can sense the energy of that piece. It's alive and three dimensional like a hologram. That sense of the energy can last for weeks and weeks sometimes. Thank you for your realness. You are such a beauty.

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    1. Mary, Bless your heart. Thank you for words of faith, courage and understanding. Life has a way of wearing off our edges and refining us to be something of use and beauty. ~Hugs

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  3. Brenda - I forgot to add that each of those paintings has so much expressiveness. It looks like you captured/conveyed something precious in each one.

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  4. Your posts are always so Beautiful. This one in a very moving way. Thanks so much for sharing. /Karin

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  5. What lovely sentiments and paintings! Thanks for sharing!
    Arts are so therapeutic besides being so much fun!

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  6. Dear Brenda,

    Your words came to me as a healing balm as well as a reminder to cherish every day. I recently lost a dear artist friend to cancer who was always full of encouragement and love. We planned to get together to paint soon. I also had to say goodbye to my cockatiel of 20 years and my beautiful yorkie of 15 years. We also moved away from our family due to a job change. Pain and art and healing all seem to be intertwined. Your portraits are beautiful, as well as your willingness to share from your heart. I will use your words as motivation to continue on.

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    1. Peggy,
      Thank you for sharing your story and heart. Sending a hug...

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  7. My dear Brenda, What a difficult time for you! I really, really, really understand and empathize with you as I have had a very similar difficult time myself this past year. Also, being grandparents in this day and age is not what I think we all thought it would be based on our own childhoods. Most of my grandchildren also live far away and that is difficult especially having just lost the older generation. I am so glad that your art is a source of healing for you. It is for me as well (although I don't do it any where as well as you!). Faith in Jesus and art are blessings for me in this life. Thank you for sharing! You are never alone!

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    1. Mary Ann, Life has its bumps and bruises to the heart and spirit. If we didn't love so much it wouldn't hurt. It's better to love completely. And yes through the love of Christ we can do all things! ~Hugs

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  8. I always always find solace and hope and strength in your posts, Brenda.
    And your comments about the healing part of art is just on the spot true.
    Most of us live far away from grandchildren in this transient world. I agree that this is tough.
    thank you for sharing your strength and your weakness.
    Such is our life.

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  9. I really admire your work! You are so talented. I understand the pain of losing a loved one. I lost my father in 2013. He was 64. It was not something I was prepared for. It was a very difficult experience. And, in 2014, I was diagnosed with a very rare form of terminal cancer of the blood. Cancer is probably the hardest thing I have ever faced. I am so happy that your son is in remission. I love hearing stories of remission! It gives me hope! I try to focus on enjoying the time I have, with family and friends. I am in the process of preparing for a stem cell transplant, which will not cure me, but could give more many years! Right now art is my inspiration and the way I express how I feel. It's the best therapy out there! Thank you for posting this post! It was nice to read from a daughter/mother perspective.

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    1. Tammy, Bless your heart💕 sounds like you have a lot to manage with heath and family. Art is an amazing gift we give ourselves and leave behind for others. Sending a big hug, Brenda

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  10. Just had to go to web version to sign up. No need to answer tk u Sally

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  11. Just had to go to web version to sign up. No need to answer tk u Sally

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  12. Art is my healing place too. Life brings such sadness and conversely, joy to us all. I'm sorry for what you've been going through.
    Your three paintings of the children are really beautiful.

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    1. Holly, Thank you for your heartfelt words. I have much to be thankful for...even in sadness. 💕

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