The millennium started with the passing of my father and although I miss him I realize his passing freed me to make the move to Vermont. In Vermont I became so connected to nature and formed a bond with the natural world which has only strengthened over the decade. It also brought me back to painting. If not for my father's illness I never would have developed the friendship I had with my mother. I discovered she was a kindred spirit and helped me to see challenges as nothing more than speed bumps on my life's pathway, you slow down but never stop where it is you need to go.And then 2001, we all know what happened.
By 2002 Whitefield, my gallery and shop was showing a profit and I was expanding my creative muscle in every direction. On the other hand my mother who had come to Vermont with me was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and her beloved friend, Duffy, a very large 90lb. Standard Poodle, was diagnosed with Heart Arrhythmia. Duffy died on our kitchen floor in June 2002, we had just started our meeting with a lawyer regarding a land issue that was encompassing our property. Again life intervenes because it was not often we had two men in the house. These kind gentlemen wrapped Duffy in a blanket and placed him in the car. Four days later I found Tucker, enter Tucker.
Then came 2003 and everything in my world changed. My mother was diagnosed with Duodenal Cancer and as we had done before in dealing with my father's illness, we did it with laughter, good cheer and hope. We left Vermont and as we drove out of the state together for the last time nature sent us a farewell with a spectacular double rainbow. When I question if what I did, putting someones needs ahead of my own, was right I think back to the rainbows and I know it was right for us, for me. I had chosen to care for my parents. I guess this attitude or commitment to another may stem from being adopted but I believe that it is not our blood that binds us but the respect and joy in each other's lives that connects us. Surprisingly my mother's RA had lessened and she had stopped treatment for RA but the cancer would finally win and in 2005 she passed. I had experienced much loss but never the loss of a spirit or soul that you could be so comfortable with, it was a spiritual connection. It still amazes me that our lives end, one second you are here and one you are not. She passed in my arms and that moment is seared into my mind forever. For anyone who has experienced severe grief, the kind you feel when it feels as if someone has surgically removed this huge part of you and discarded what was left of yourself onto a pile of nothingness.
By the time 2006 came around my life was to change. Now in Connecticut I realized I had taken a wrong turn somewhere and started looking at other avenues and places. Again life was there to show me there is purpose in everything because during the year I spent in CT I had to face many of my demons and I needed time to heal. Unfortunately I lost the two dearest souls I had left in my life, my absolutely best friend and partner and my best furry friend, and during those months in 2007 I came to realize that everything and everyone I thought I could always count on and rely on had now vanished. I thought life had sent it's final blow and I did not know if I wanted to continue onward. Slowly the darkness fell away and light began to shine. I had completely surrendered my life to a higher consciousness and buds of new growth were forming. Without me even aware of what was happening I was being nurtured and cared for and I was extremely grateful.
Things happen, and events occur to all of us for a purpose. As chaos hit the housing markets I managed to sell my house and find my current home. Yes it was alot of work but I always feel there is something in the background lending that helpful hand or that all knowing little whisper in your ear. It is exactly where I needed to be so I could assimilate what has happened these past years and discover who I am. It has been my safe haven where I have emerged ready to travel once again down my path to a destination unknown.
So for me the past decade has been a challenge to say the least and one I am grateful to have had, well maybe not a decade. What I have learned is that you need to be true to only yourself and accept life for what it is, on life's terms, not yours. Believe in your uniqueness. Believe that your life is part of a divine plan. All thoughts have power so choose your thoughts carefully. Finally we are all responsible for our actions. This past year has been a wake up call for many and has unfortunately effected each and every one of us. My hope is that all of human kind awakens to the possibilities of a loving, accepting, fearless life and stops living in doubt, envy, greed, hatred and fear. But above all else may the world be encompassed with peace and the wars be stopped and all the sons and daughters, husbands and wives, men and women go back to their families and friends healthy and whole.