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Painting My Way Back

June 1, 2021 7:37 pm

This past weekend was beautiful. However, it started out sadly. Craig and I gathered flowers for the graves with the weight of it all mirrored in the grey, rainy skies. My eyes well with tears as I look back on it. We were wet, cold, and a little hopeless. On Saturday, the skies cleared and gave way to picturesque day. Just the two of us visited relatives long, long gone. We scrubbed their stones, washed away the dirt, and left evidence that while gone, those who came before us are still loved. We held hands, talked, and made casual stops on the way home. It was everything to have each other on this bittersweet day. Come Sunday, I was surrounded by my very favorite people and showered with wonderfulness. Thoughtful words, kind actions, and great generosity spilled forth. What my family expressed to me: there is nothing better in this world. Yesterday was challenging. The graves we planted upon were not of relatives long, long gone. The loss is still with us. Memories are crisp. But, we were together and that healed. The beauty of my children on their hands and knees, digging in the dirt, and working together to honor the memories- this meant the world us. Despite the mingling of sadness and the bittersweet, my heart floods with gratitude.

This is a weekend that has been lived many times over. The memory of loved ones lost is always palpable on this day. Time is stretched and bent. A decade ago is yesterday. What we would do to turn back the clock. We hang in the moments between the past and the present: in a liminal space that is uniquely ours. Only we understand. Only we sense what has been lost and gained. Someday, we will do it all with grandchildren and our children will be the ones looking on with thankfulness as others do the digging in the dirt. In all of this, time ticks on and I pray that we will do it again and again. Loving those that love you is everything.

I will try to capture these moments with my paints and my canvas. My attempts will be feeble as will be my words. I won’t ever express any of this well, but at least I have a way to try. Thank God that I am me and that I have ways to express it. Today, I am grateful that, in my next painting, I will paint my way back and then forward. Creative expression will help me express both my grief and my joy in this life.

A painting of a hanging pot with flowers.

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