Friday, April 11, 2008
Oil on 8"x 10" stretched canvas.
As you can see, I haven't posted the finished "Pewter Tankard". I got sidetracked by life events and tried to paint when my heart was not in it and my mind was elsewhere, and it did not turn out as I would have liked. So I started a new painting.
Today is April 10th. Three years ago today, my father died after several years of extremely poor health. He suffered greatly for quite some time. I was with my mother during that last week of my father's life, taking her back and forth from her home to the nursing home, then back and forth between the hospital and a hotel room. The experience seemed eerily surreal as I cared for my mother, knowing my father was going to die very soon, and I don't know where the strength came from to put one foot in front of the other in those final days.
My parents lived very close to the Suwannee River, which was flooding that week. In addition to finalizing funeral arrangements, contacting family members, and all that is entailed in the death of a loved one, my mother packed up a few belongings and left her home to escape the flood waters. One day after my father's funeral, my mother left her home and all her friends to stay with me and my family until the water receded and it was safe to go back home. No time for closure.
Before leaving my father's grave-side, my mother took a single red Gerbera daisy from a beautiful spray that had adorned his casket. She placed that red daisy in a small bottle in her room next to cherished photos of my father. During the six-or-so weeks of my mother's stay, we worked on a flower bed in my back yard. We planted several red Gerbera daisies which have since popped up to greet me each spring.
Today when I realized what day it was, I knew what the subject of my next painting would be, and I knew I would finish it today. I was very sad when I began to paint, but I think my father would be pleased that I am painting. And my mother can keep these red daisies forever.