It was a really special night. If you had told me two months ago that a ten foot by ten foot space could truly become a gallery, I would have been skeptical, at best. When The Baldwinsville Center for the Arts asked me to be a part of this show two months ago, I accepted in fear and trepidation. I had a few prints in a portfolio album and maybe five framed prints hanging on my walls at home. And stepping out from behind the computer and into the real world made me feel vulnerable in ways I wasn't sure I was ready for after the earlier events of this roller coaster of a year. But let me tell you, what a gift my year has been and what a lesson that is to me. Nothing that happens on my life journey happens without reason. I believe even the hard things served a purpose I could not see at the time. I asked God to take those things from me. I even screamed at Him to do it, once or twice. Looking back, I understand what a foolish request that was. We can't always see the work He's doing inside of us, when we're in the middle of it. I am so thankful as we head into the holiday season now... for this painful, messy, beautiful, incredible, life changing year.
These beautiful flowers on the table? Those are from my cousin Meaghan. When I walked into the room yesterday afternoon to begin setting up for the show, the women running it brought them over to me and said, "You had a delivery today! Look!" I was delighted and thought they were a gift from the art committee as a thank you for participating in the evening. Then I opened the card. The only way you could possibly understand the profoundly significant impact of that small gesture would be to visit the Memorial page set up to help her son remember his father, who died, just three months ago. Her road is a difficult one but the class and unselfishness of this woman is a testimony to me and an assurance, without a doubt in my mind, of her strength, her resilience, and her light. She is in the middle of her darkest night but I still see that light so clearly. They both mean the absolute world to me. The last time we were all together, we were in this very room where the art show was held, dancing the night away. I heard his laughter and I feel her tears. The fact that she stepped outside of her grief long enough to say she was proud of me and to wish me well, was the single most important and special moment of the entire day for me. I want to be more like that. With all my heart I do and I will be looking for ways to do it, as we head into 2014.