from a dad's view

Cancer

Night-time winter barn – watercolor

I’m not sure that there is a more peaceful moment than taking a night-time stroll, while the ground is covered with brilliantly white snow. The really cool thing is, that a flashlight or any other form of light isn’t needed, because the snow and moon creates its own illumination.  The only few sounds that are heard, is the crunching of the packing snow under your feet, and the whispers of the wind blowing through the trees.  I also think that you feel a little more alive, when you can feel the freshness and the crisp air entering your lung, and the visual of  life, when you exhale. I think this is important now days because we seem to be just living life, not appreciating being alive! I have a wonderful friend, with a wonderful family, that just lost a wonderful brother. He was young, but cancer didn’t care, and took his life just this weekend. He found out about his cancer less than a year ago, has battled strongly, but lost that battle Sunday. So the next time that you see your kids, parents, siblings and friends, squeeze a little harder on the hugs, grab their necks and wrap your arm around them a little more, and feel the love between your touch and their heart. And this winter if you are in an area that receives a white winters blanket, breath in and feel life entering your lungs, and breath out and see the air that God has given us, to enjoy the time that we have on the Earth.

This painting is dedicated to the memory of Larry, a brother of a friend, a son, father, husband, outdoorsman and a friend. Prayers for Larry’s family, and prayers for those who are still battling this awful disease.


Why? God – watercolor

Questions, life is full of questions. I’m not talking about those questions that have definite answers, you know, the ones asked in school, although I didn’t have answers for very many for those either, But they did have answers.  The questions that I’m talking about are those in our past that made us stop and either wonder why, or possibly cry, because we questioned.  One of my most tearful questions for years, was my mom divorcing my dad. I was nine, and I can tell you that this tore major holes in my heart, so I questioned why.  The loss of my grandparents that were the most religious and God-loving people, and yet taken by cancer, I questioned why.  The meeting of my wife in high school, her being so good, and I was a waste, but she still found love with me, I questioned how I deserve this.  The birth of my two brilliantly smart and absolutely beautiful both physically and within their hearts, I questioned how did I deserve them.  There were times that I questioned my faith, and just wanted to scream to the Lord above, WHY!  Why would you take such wonderful, God-loving people, that were some of the purist of Christian love so early in life. I didn’t just question, but I was angry.  How could the Lord take a young child and allow cancer to eat their bodies away until death, and yet allow, what could be a healthy person, kill their bodies with drugs and alcohol.  But I do know, after months, or years  after I questioned why on these occasions, there always seemed to be an answer given.  Unfortunately, so many people and especially young kids, question, but don’t allow enough time to go by to see the answer.  My wife’s cousin, and a good high school friend of mine both questioned, but took their lives before they could receive and answer. The sad thing is, if they would have given it a day, or weeks, I’m sure that both would have been living a good life today with children and a wife, but sadly they’re gone.

What I wanted to show in this painting was pain being felt, but a prayer bringing a glimpse of hope into this young girls heart and eyes.  Watching my girls grow, and go through high school, I have seen a lot of pain in their hearts, and I remember having that pain myself as a child and young adult, where you weren’t sure if your heart can take anymore pain, and whether it was all worth it.  I can tell you, it is worth it, be strong, work hard at everything you do, and most importantly, have Faith, have Faith in yourself, friends, family and most importantly in God.  Don’t hold things in, it’s not worth it, talk to your friends and family about things that bother you, but most importantly, close your eyes, open your heart, and pray.  As you grow in faith, you will grow in confidence, friendships, and the love of life.

The painting is a 9″ x 9″ watercolor on 140lb cold press paper.  I did this one, and another ATC last night while watching football.  This is a first of this style for me as a portrait, and it’s a must for you to try.


A Big Smile, Strength, Contagious Energy… and Cancer

This post started about 25 years ago in a little art store that was about the only place to buy art supplies at the time.  As you walked into the store normally there was just one clerk, but that one clerk always had a smile and a friendly greeting.  By my own experience as a bellman, front desk person, restaurant manager, bar manager and catering manager in the hotel industry before my art career, I can tell you that smile from anyone working with the public, is just short of a miracle.  But this lady always had a faith-based happiness, and was always willing to share it.  About once a month for the last 25 years, I still try by our art supplies from her and the franchise company she now works for, not because I can’t find these products somewhere else, but because of this clerks friendliness and energy.  A few months ago while buying supplies she walks up to me with extremely short hair, a warm smile, and ask how I was doing.  I replied just fine, in return I ask how she was doing and she replied wonderful, I’m getting ready to celebrate my birthday soon.  Now, knowing women above the age of 29… if there are women above the age of 29, never celebrate their birthdays.  I made the comment that I didn’t think at our age we were supposed to celebrate birthdays anymore.  She then explained her motivation, 2 years prior to this,  she was diagnosed with cancer and was given less than a year to live, and that she had lost her young mother, two years later her father, and then her husband of a heart attack.  So, from this point on, to her, every birthday, is one the doctors had told her she wasn’t going to have, and so she celebrates.  She also informed me that she was comfortable with God’s decision, whether here or in heaven. Her wonderful attitude, energy, along with her strong Christian belief, still puts a smile on her face every time you walk into the store.  And to be honest with you, I didn’t even realize that she was going thru all of this, because of her wonderful attitude.

I can’t tell you why, but I had this need to do a painting and give it to her for her birthday.  I’ll be honest with you, I felt odd taking it to her, not knowing how she would take it, but it was something I wanted to do.  I had found out thru the other workers that she loved purple and flowers, so iris’s was the choice of my painting.  I had to buy supplies yesterday for my daughter, so I took it in the store and was fortunate she was working.  Of course with a giant smile she greets me as soon as I walked in.  I told her that I had something for her, with a look of puzzlement on her face, I handed her the painting and told her happy birthday.  Stunned and probably confused, soon turned into a smile and warm feeling of happiness and a hug.  With all the strength, faith, determination and friendliness and warmth, she deserved this painting and so much more.

I hope and pray for the cure of cancer, I hope and pray that someday we fear this horrible disease no more, and I hope and pray for years to come, I can walk into that store to buy my art supplies, and be greeted by her wonderful smile and warm friendliness.