The Beauty death left behind

I was visiting with my family on Sunday – Father’s Day – talking about a photo my Mother had posted onto FB. I pulled out my handy mobile device and opened up to the news feed section. The column refreshed and I was caught off guard. A friend from the local art community had lost her battle to cancer just the day before and there were several heart-felt messages updating. My first reaction was shock – I knew she had recently gone into the hospital, but did not expect this outcome. My step-daughter asked, “Are you going to cry?”

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It was February 14th of last year when I posted a link to an upcoming show to raise funds for medical bills [ https://artbyangie.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/making-valentines-day-count-with-your-loved-ones/ ]  She had been diagnosed a month or so prior with stage 4 cancer and had been hiding out at home as her body had taken a toll from some of the initial treatment. The Gallery was packed that evening and all of her pieces were sold quickly. She had friends upon friends who admired her art work – gorgeous bold colors in her florals, cafe scenes & nude figures – and wanted to support her in any way they could.  The turnout was a HUGE testament as to what type of person she was – generous, warm-hearted, caring, genuine with her friendship. There’s were lots of tears and emotions ran high. It was going to be a long-journey ahead.

paintings
Ursula & I shared a booth together at the Artist Garage Sale in 2009. I can remember freezing in the frigid wind in Mukilteo.

Like most cancer patients, she lost her hair and body weight; but Ursula’s spirit rarely was seen wavering. Sure, she would admit to having aches and pains, or some bad days, but damn that girl had spunk! She would sing praises when she felt great and grab hold of small victories. She was gaining ground, so her & her hubby decided to take life by the cojones and venture to Italy to paint. They went to concerts and Ursula started showing her work again at local venues.

I loved popping into the Gallery when she was working to hear about all the new things that she was planning. She had a radiance about her that was infectious. It started to inspire me to really examine all the distractions in my life – to put away the “cant’s” and strive for more successes. I began to release those things that could be deemed as “piss ants” (as my Dad calls it) and start focusing on what really mattered – my family, my marriage, my business adventures, my relationships. Life was too short and too precious to be wasted on the garbage.

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My Dad brought up a line from a movie in our conversation last Sunday, quite unaware of the news I had read just moments beforehand. It went something like this,  “A man dies twice – once in his death and again when his memory dies/thought of no more.” We can’t fret about our deaths and the memory we’re leaving behind, but we can be aware of the influence and relationships that we make along the way. It’s never too late to change.

All religion aside, it just makes plane sense to quote from a passage that has long comforted me in times of heaviness and sorrow, questioning and thankfulness:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on me. The Lord has chosen me to tell good news to the poor and to comfort those who are sad. He sent me to tell the captives and prisoners that they have been set free.  He sent me to announce that the time has come for the Lord to show his kindness, when our God will also punish evil people. He has sent me to comfort those who are sad,  those in Zion who mourn. I will take away the ashes on their head, and I will give them a crown. I will take away their sadness, and I will give them the oil of happiness. I will take away their sorrow, and I will give them celebration clothes. He sent me to name them ‘Good Trees’ and ‘The Lord’s Wonderful Plant.’”  Isaiah 61:1-3

May peace find you today and always.

~Angie

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I appreciate your comments. ~Angie

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