Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Art sustains us

Sometimes art goes beyond mere enjoyment. Sometimes it's a diversion, an outlet, a lifesaver. Such is this week's art, the pleasant, familiar comfort of an Exacto knife or a glue stick or a pen in my hand, the completion of a project a satisfactory endeavor before I go back to my routine.

Most of you are familiar with Ric, my stepdad's, health. However, we're also dealing with the precarious health of my husband's father. We found out tonight that his specific kind of blood cancer (myeloma) is back, and he was fighting for his life... UPDATE July 21: Larry's health has been improving. Certain blood cell counts have increased back to better levels, his infections are getting under control and he's been moved from the acute care hospital to the rehabilitation hospital this week. While there are no guarantees how long his health will hold out, he seems to be on the upswing, and for that, we're all very grateful. Thank you for your prayers.

All of these situations are very sad. Those of us who will be left behind when our loved ones depart must stick together in love and family support. We must embrace the things that comfort us and bring us joy. The Bible, prayers, creating things, talking with our children, our relatives, our friends. Hugs, kisses, letters, e-mails ... it must all sustain us through these emotionally wrenching times.

Having lost my 7-year-old cat, Helen, a week ago Monday, the pain of everything else is amplified even more. However, I will say one thing that I keep hearing over and over. While the people who are sick feel bad they're leaving us in all this pain, they're also ready to end the physical suffering we feel here on earth, they're ready to go be with our Lord in heaven and experience the indescribable joy that is total peace and fulfillment. They feel no dread, no sorrow, no regret about leaving this earth -- only that they are leaving us behind, sad.

In all things that are beautiful and joyful -- your smile, a flower, the things we do, make and say for others -- there is a piece of our loved ones.

The above art is one of nine different ATCs (artist trading cards) I made for a swap called "Fabulous 50s." They're all made using reproductions of authentic 1950s ads. The remainder of the cards I will post to my Yahoo group.

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