The photo is from a 70 year old newspaper clipping of my mother at about 14 years of age...4H Queen in Mississippi.
No, this does not herald my return to the boards, but it is an update of sorts, just to remind myself that I am still part of this community at large.
Following my brother's neuro-surgery in March, family "crises" seemed to spiral out of control, culminating with the brief unexpected illness and death of my Mother during the summer. (from a mysterious lung infection and ARDS...Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) My brother, sister, and I carried her remains to Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX. to be interred with my father...as she had requested. She was a friend, fellow artist and sister in Christ as well as being my mother, and she will be (and is) greatly missed. Funny, what a "hole" is left in the fabric of our lives by the loss of one so familiar and dear. I'm still "growing up" at the age of 61. I will see her again in eternity...and I am glad her journey has finally taken her before the throne of Christ...what a wonder! But I miss the daily sharing we had for so long, and I ache with the writing of it. I'm thankful she didn't have to linger and suffer in a longer battle on this side. The pain of her month long struggle was far more than was tolerable as it was.
Over the past year, I had been considering and praying about moving back to the Kansas City area to share a home with my sister. We are both "on our own" with children grown and out of the nest, and I had felt God was leading in that direction, but still I hesitated, not sure that the timing was quite right...not wanting to be so far from Mother at her age. Now I will be relocating by the end of this month. My son is also back in the K. C. area, and it will be wonderful to be closer to him for as long as our respective "jobs" keep us in proximity. My sister and I share some mutual auto-immune health problems...like the Celiac challenge, among others...and we share the same Spiritual perspectives and similar health philosophies and goals, so we will be able to shop and prepare meals together and support one another in our quest for better overall health and fitness. I am looking forward to that. I'll also be among many friends of former years and in a strong church community...all in all, a good thing. I am also "acquiring" a dog...my sister's huge black German Shepherd. Romeo...as his name suggests, is a cream puff, and he is a very intelligent, "manipulative" character who will keep me on my toes on a moment to moment basis! Rome and I know each other pretty well so it won't be a totally new thing to share my space with him...or for him to share his with me! As for my work, I am fortunate that what I do can be transported fairly easily from one location to another thanks to the wonders of the world wide web.
Meanwhile, I am packing...packing...packing! (and I am tired, tired, tired...) How does one cram so much "stuff" into a life in 8 short years in one tiny apartment??!!! (just had the second of 2 rummage sales today to get rid of some of it!) Aargh! I will be losing my wonderful view of the Ouachita River here in Northeast Louisiana...not sure I'm quite ready to return to the snow and ice and winter winds...but I'm gaining a backyard...fresh garden veggies, anyone? Life is what happens to us one thought, one step at a time. A quote I read in a Robert Jordan book (Crossroads of Twilight...pg. 339) sums it up. We must prepare and "plan ahead,...but worry too hard over next year, and you can trip over tomorrow." Here's to the unknown future. God holds it...and us...in His hands. So I step into it with wonder and expectation of good. "'I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)