Tuesday, May 23, 2017

In Memoriam... for Doctor Allison Morgan Sherman

                                                     Doctor Allison Morgan Sherman
                                                  October 29th, 1979 - April 26th, 2017    

Dear Friends,

On the sunny Spring morning of Tuesday, April 26th, 2017 at exactly 7:30 am... the spirit of our blazing comet ... sweet Allie passed peacefully and quietly beyond the light of this earth. She did so ever so reluctantly, but bravely... and with the loving presence of all of her family surrounding her - each offering offering her their permission to leave.

Death can lay claim to no victory in conducting this cruel act against one so undeserving of his malicious and contemptible actions. Neither can he be proud of his act of painful vengeance that she endured so defiantly and bravely... right up to and including her final earthly breath. She remains our undefeated and indisputable champion of life!

I am usually a man of [too] many words... but I can honestly admit that since then and right up until this moment, my voice has been absent and my thoughts... simply scattered... and "I"... detached from almost everything else in life that for the moment seems trivial in meaning to me. But that too... shall pass... perhaps... with time. But for now at least, I am still struggling to regain my direction and purpose.

Tributes for her have poured in literally from around the globe since her demise and all help to soothe our family's loss. However, Allie was the very hub of our blended families - the very heart of it really. For each of us... and in our own way, we never ever believed that she wouldn't physically defeat her enemy. Though that battle victory was not actualized... her spiritual conquest of the disease was fully won.

Her spirit and her legacy are best summed up in this favourite quotation which best describes her mantra... and her passed challenge to we who survive her:

"In the end, only three things matter: how much we loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you."

 This wonderfully intimate Venetian "Allie" moment was captured by her colleague and friend Professor Peter Coffman. He created a series of plaque mounts so aptly titled: La Venezia di Allie which were offered at silent auction at a fundraiser to help defray the expenses of her three month medical treatment in Vienna, Austria. Deb and I brought this one home to be with us permanently.

The beautifully photographic masterpiece is Peter's... while the quotation comes directly from Allie. She did in fact get to see the actual images and finished plaques.

I will add further followup to this brief post at a later date. There are no more words ... today.Except that I wish all of you... Rich blessings of Health and Happiness!!! Hug your children and tell them how much you love them... each and every time that you must part. It may be the very last time that you have the chance to do so.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Digging deeply...

                                                                       "Forest Spirits"

                                     Kindred spirits!... I love you FOREVER Sweet Heart!

I dug deeply into my photo archives in search of a photo which best expressed my feelings and emotions surrounding our celebration of Easter 2017 and an appropriate photo upon which to base my return to posting on this blog site.

We did enjoy our warm winter hiatus in the Barbados with my daughter Lisa in December and a refreshing visit with Deb's family and grand girls Ava and Ella for two weeks in mid February. It was a time for recalibrating... reevaluating and planning our future.

Allison's illness continues to hover even more menacingly as of late and I must admit my creative spirit has struggled to manifest itself. Life has simply become day-to-day and art simply has been a secondary diversion... a necessary one still... but hardly joyous as it usually is for me. My attention has been drawn totally to a role of love and support as it is required by Allison, Joan and Andrew. Deb has had my back wonderfully to allow me to do so.

I did get to read a lot... wonderfully uplifting books that for too many months had laid unnoticed. "My Spiritual Journey" by the Dalai Lama...  and Viktor E. Frankl's philosophical masterpiece "Man's Search for Meaning" served to somewhat buoy up my beaten down spirit enough to activate my painting urge in a preparatory way for my return to Canada.

I reached back to where my search for artistic expression began... a series small expressive post card watercolours structured and strengthened by the addition of India ink. Each of these were based upon digital images gathered from this Bajan paradise that I found myself immersed in. Gradually "the flow" returned and with it a renewed spirit.

I even managed to spend an entire day in Anthony Hunte' s floral Eden painting a 30 x 24 inch canvas fully en plein air. Being a guest in this man's Garden of Eden made my spirit soar... so much so... that I resisted finishing the painting so that I might use the experience to transcend my usual painting approach. I just managed the courage to proceed and got back to it just two days ago here in the studio. I like where it is going.... but that is a truly florid and exceptional story for another day...

Stay tuned...

Once again... we struggle to regain positivity on this Good Friday. How could one view it as anything else than the nightmare this dreaded illness has become for Allison and each of us who love her so. Where did goodness and God go???

God has NOT left my heart. I reach our to him in my usual prayers... asking for the strength and courage to remain Hope... full and Faithful. We have been "lifers"... He and I.

I hesitated in posting this... or anything else... lest it offend or seem trivial. But it is my Truth alone and I do not press it upon others... even family members. So I decided to proceed. My writing has always been as important as my painting in reaching out. They have been inseparable really.

My Art and Writing have always been  gifts that I have viewed as being something that I was given to be shared with others who shared my journey or thoughts. They record my Gratitude for the many smallish blessings that I continue to enjoy during the life that I have been given.

I choose to humbly share it here as an article of Faith for each of you to enjoy and apply in your own small corner of existence if you so choose to.

Good Painting ... to ALL!!!
Happy Easter... and rich blessings to ALL!!!