The Art of being grateful

I am a positive person. But the last few years have tested me sorely. My mother passed away, my husband was in a serious car accident requiring two surgeries, my father had open heart surgery, a surprise, but very welcome grandchild, and more that I don’t care to share. Throughout all of this, my daughter had a recurring health issue with her heart. She has a misfiring called SVT, which does not sound like a big deal, but it can be terrifying when they are active in sports. She has been a trooper for years, taking meds, and learning tricks to try to get out of the bad rhythm. Also dealing with people that don’t understand or care that she is having an issue. The cure for this condition is meds or an ablation. An ablation is when they burn the heart to change the misfiring of the heart. (I am sure there is a longer explanation, but I am going with simple) There is a 95% success rate with ablations, but sadly we were in the 5%, and we were scared to do another ablation. A very bad stress test woke us up to the dangers of this heart condition and we decided to try again. Luckily, I love my daughter’s Doctors. My faith in them helped me to support my daughter to go through it again. I am happy to say she had ablation on Tuesday, and it looks like so far it is a success.

I went to say good night to her last night, and she had a huge smile. I asked if everything was ok, and she said she was happy to have a normal heart. The point of my post is that I am grateful. Because through all of it, I realize it could be worse, and I choose to focus on the good. So although my posts are generally positive, I suffer through trials too! If you are going through a tough time, stay strong as the bad times do pass, and it makes you appreciate the good times even more. We are celebrating in our home this week and enjoying that my daughter may be finally cured. Needless to say, I have been spending time with her this week, as she is resting, but I will be painting again soon!

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Is the glass half full or half empty?   I choose half full……

Grateful

Grateful for those that trust me with their visions…..

This is a season for being grateful.  And I am grateful. I love to create.  I truly do.  When asked to do a commission, I think about the people or place I am painting, and am always wondering what else I can do or add to painting to make it even more special.  I believe that art has meaning, and I am always grateful to be asked to do a commission.

Remembering loved ones

One of my very first commissions was for a family friend.  She requested a portrait of her father in laws farm and then her own home.  She had a few requests.  Her daughter, dog and maybe a few robins in remembrance of her beloved grandparents. The resulting painting was well received, and installed in her living room so she could see it often and enjoy the memories it brought back for her.  I put a lot of time, thought and effort into creating a painting and I can tell you it is incredibly rewarding when the recipient is thrilled with their art.  From visiting the site, painting and delivering, this was one of my favorite pieces.  It also has a lot to do with the recipient taking a chance and commissioning me, as these were my first commissions.  I am always thankful that she gave me the opportunity, as her confidence in me also gave me confidence.

 

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Tetreault Homestead

 

Remembering our youth

My family has commissioned me probably the most.  Most have moved down south, so they request local places that remind them of their childhood.  Even more thoughtful, they have commissioned me to paint paintings for each other.  I have painted the family cottage three times, as it is very popular in our families memories.  Rather than painting it the same way for each cousin, I have painted it differently so each painting is unique.  Besides the family cottage, I have painted many other subjects for my family, and am even working on a big one right now as a Christmas present.  They keep me busy!

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Memories of a wonderful vacation

This is probably my favorite subject.  Who doesn’t dream of getting away?  And then when you are finally lucky to do it, its over so quickly!  A painting of a photo you took while in paradise, painted and installed in your home, brings back the euphoria of being there.  Of course one of my favorite places is Disney World, but this can be anywhere that makes you happy.

 

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Good day, drying, will be listed soon

 

 

Creating a commission is an honor, and I treat it as such.  Its not an easy thing, as usually the person requesting the commission already has something in mind.  So it is my job to make that thought come true, and I work hard to accomplish this.  I just sent out 3 paintings to a cousin this week and she called to let me know they had arrived.  She was thrilled with them, and wanted me to know. What a wonderful feeling to know I succeeded with my art!   It is fuel for me to continue creating, and that’s a wonderful thing.

So thank you to those that have entrusted me with their visions, there have been quite a few and I wish I could include them all in this blog.  From a commission of a home with all its flowers in bloom, a Grandmothers house, beloved pets, and even motorcycles, I am thankful to those that trust me to create something wonderful for them or their loved ones.

Thank you!

 

 

The end of the year of firsts

youngSoon my year of firsts will be ending.   I find that I have learned a lot in this past year.

I have learned that I have to let things go.  You find that when someone you love passes, you analyze things.  You think about how you treated them, your relationship, and did you give them enough time? Did you tell them how you felt?  I am an only child and had a tough relationship with my Mother.  But I always loved her and tried hard to be the daughter she wanted.  She was the daughter of two immigrants and had a tough childhood being raised by a Grandmother famously known in the family for being miserable.  So she had a rough start.  But even with that rough start my mother would do anything for the ones she loved.  But she was not always easy.  But who is?  And now that she is gone, I find myself thinking about things I did, or did not do.  Death has a way of changing your view on things.  Maybe you should have given in more, had more patience.  But you will never know if this would have helped.  So you must do your best and move on and learn the lessons that you have been taught.  And I am.

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I have learned I am a tough cookie.  This past year I have helped my Dad through open heart surgery to fix an aneurysm. Then supported my husband when he was in a serious car accident requiring multiple surgeries.  Through all this I just kept going.  I had a close friend ask me how I did it.  And I replied “what is the alternative?”  I did have a few moments when I just put my head down and cried, but once it was over, I continued on.

Besides all the health issues we still were grieving for my mother.  Noticing she was not here to help, or support us.  Besides that I have had all the major holidays,  some nice accomplishments with my art,  a fabulous party for my daughters 16th, and found out I am going to be a Grandma, all without my Mom.  All this year at each little milestone, I noticed her empty chair.  I went to call her to tell her some news, only to realize she would not answer.  I visited her grave a few times to tell her she should have taken better care of herself so she would be here with us.  I cried at times that made no sense. And I have learned that grief does not get easier as time passes.  Instead it is like a weight on your shoulders that you learn to carry.

I am now nearing the Anniversary of her death, and I have learned a lot this year.  I wish I had told my Mom more how thankful I was for her. To tell her thank you for dropping everything to always help me when I needed it.  Thank you for giving me a beautiful name, that I hated for years, but now love for its uniqueness.  Thank you for being so thoughtful with your gifts.  Thank you for taking care of me and my family when we were sick.  And thank you for being a great Mom.

Sadly I feel like I have two dates for her death as she died on Black Friday, right after her favorite holiday.  So on black Friday this year, I wanted to do something special.  Something to make me not think of the last moments watching my mom removed from the machines that were keeping her alive.  Something to celebrate life.  So all the girls in our family are going to a spa day for my daughters 16th birthday.  What better way to spend a sad day but surrounded by loved ones?  And on the actual anniversary I will be having my Dad over for dinner where we will silently mark the day and be thankful when its over.  So we can continue our grieving but look for the silver lining.  Because although we are missing our loved one, life goes on.  I used to think that was sad that life kept going, but now I know that the current that carries you along is a good thing.  There are days when you may feel like your head is barely above the current, and then there will be days that you are floating and enjoying happy moments.  And those are the moments that I prefer to focus on.

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Thanks Mom for everything, and I miss you more each day.

Till we meet again…..