Saturday, July 24, 2010

Something to smile about!

It's a tiny plastic bag. A giveaway to patients on their way out, filled with the necessities:. toothbrush, floss, toothpaste.

Normally the bag itself is uneventful, forgetful, and downright discardable! It either has contrived taglines on it like "Keep smilin'!" or a giant-sized image of a toothbrush in a color scheme from the 80's. Gross!

But last week when I went to the dentist, here is the bag I got instead.....

Such a CUTE little illustration! What a happy tooth!

The purple popped against all that white. It's the first thing I noticed. A lovely shade of plum!

I'm definitely saving this bag. Currently it's being used to store my newly-bought origami paper.

Oh, and my dentist said my teeth look really nice--that I have excellent tooth anatomy!

Go shallow grooves!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Giving thanks.

There have been a few bloggers who were gracious and generous enough to send me some things over these past several months. They really didn't have to but did it anyway.

In turn, I wanted to send a little something back their way.

A store-bought thank you card just wouldn't do so I created my own!

Watercolor paper was folded in half and I did an abstract painting on the front. This way they get a personalized message from me on the inside and a piece of art to frame on the outside!

It's been forever-and-a-day since I painted abstracts so it was like getting my feet wet all over again.

Here are the ones I'm sending out!

Watercolor with wax on watercolor paper - 3 1/2" x 4 3/4"

Watercolor with wax on watercolor paper - 3 1/2" x 4 3/4"

Watercolor with wax on watercolor paper - 3 1/2" x 4 3/4"

Watercolor with wax on watercolor paper - 3 1/2" x 4 3/4"

Which one(s) do YOU like best?

Wanting each painting to have its own unique look, I varied the application of paint as best I could. No two were to be alike!

Hope they like them!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Red lost in a sea of green.

I thought it was dead. While bringing one of my houseplants into the backyard this afternoon, I noticed a ladybug near the side of the house. Motionless in the hot sun.

It was a tiny shock of red. A brilliant red.

It shifted a bit after gentle prodding with a twig but was clearly injured. (I think the bug light zapped it the previous night).

Afraid the ants would come along and carry it away, I scooped the ladybug in my hand.

I watched it struggle aimlessly, staggering sideways, almost going in a circle. One of its back legs couldn't extend anymore. It kept trying but it just wasn't enough. God, I know how that feels.

I placed it in a planter with marigolds (ants don't like that flower) but the dirt was too uneven making the ladybug repeatedly fall onto its back.

They say if you make a wish on a ladybug then let it fly free that your wish will come true. That wasn't going to happen this time around.

The ladybug couldn't even spread its wings. It didn't have much of a chance. It'd either get eaten or just die from being stuck in the same place.

I considered quickly crushing it. That by killing it I'd put it out of its misery. And when I went to photograph the ladybug it accidently fell from my palms into the lawn. Dammit.

Maybe it was meant to be. Who was I to decide its fate? Now it was out of my hands....literally.

I searched and searched for it in the interwoven blades of grass but it was hopeless. Now it was just a tiny speck of red lost in a sea of green.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Life after death.

Transition n. 1. Change or passage from one place or stage to another. 2. An event that results in a transformation.

A vacant park bench caught my eye while walking home. It's bathed in morning sunlight. I couldn't help but wonder if it's empty because the person already left or hasn't arrived yet. And then I thought about my own life. Am I coming or going?

Several people already said I have a lot of possibilities ahead of me during this transitional stage yet it doesn't feel that way. It feels like there aren't many options at all. Like I'm not doing anything with my life....just wasting away here.

We were told once my uncle passes that life goes on for the rest of us. That's easier said than done. My uncle passed away almost two weeks ago and I wonder if he's the lucky one. He's at peace while I'm alive and struggling.

My identity was tied to being a full-time caretaker. A giant question mark looms overhead. How will I know what my new role is now that the previous one is over with? With my uncle's death I've been set free but to what I'm not sure.

What was I supposed to learn from it all? On those hard days when my uncle was struggling and praying to God to take him, I was struggling and praying for God to take me too.

It can't be a coincidence that his ordeal mirrored my own. Or can it? Is it part of something much bigger than I'm able to see at this point? Clearly I'm missing something.

What awaits me now? Now I have to figure out where do I go next in life....after death.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mourning in the morning.....

The tolling of the bell echoed down the block as we arrived to church. Several powerful "gongs", each spaced with long pauses in between. The pallbearers carried my uncle's coffin inside and the immediate family followed.

My uncle's funeral was this past Thursday morning.

I was dressed in a white-collared shirt, striped tie, dark gray suit, and black dress boots--the EXACT ensemble I wore to a job interview last December. Job interviews and funerals are practically the same for me anyways. *sigh*

During the sermon, Father told the crowd that death is very personal yet death is also universal because we all experience it at some point, directly or indirectly.

I kept my composure during most of the ceremony but tears ran down my stoic face when the choir sang "On Eagles' Wings".

And when the procession ended my other uncle said to me, "We tried." He was the one who drove my aunt, uncle, and I to and from chemo treatments. Even though my uncle had the cancer, we all went through it with him. It affected us too.

Countless hospital visits for bloodwork, shots, chemotherapy, CT scans, and other unexpected ailments. None of us got a break from it.

We all thought in the beginning that he'd beat the cancer or at least live much longer. But things don't always work out. That's a part of life....and now death.

He was my aunt's husband. Even though there wasn't a blood relation, he was still very much my uncle. I attended their wedding when I was five. And they were both my godparents.

Rest in peace, Uncle Bill. I love you.....

My Uncle Bill with me as a child

"And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand."