Recently, I read a newsletter which provokes the very heart of anyone into being stirred. In essence, it is a subject most anyone can relate to- that of loss, grieving and going through the stages that eventually allow us to find peace. I won’t refer to it for privacy of the writer and wish it serves as comfort through this difficult time. In this writing, I don’t intend for it to overpower that eloquent writer’s story of discovery. Nor do I wish it to be a somber excerpt of the correspondence I subscribe to, but a view of my own on the subject. I would hope that in the least, it extends warm thoughts and peace to those who understand and need it.
When I was a very young girl, I experienced the first loss in one I loved so dearly, my maternal Grandmother, Zoila. To me she represented as much as my Mom if not more for so many additional reasons we find in loving grandparents. They seem to have that much more when anxious thrill is felt at the thought of seeing them, hugging, talking or merely playing. I particularly loved exploring her facial features, looking into her eyes as she admiringly smiled back with them. They were beautiful, light brown eyes with a twinkle I’d hope to never forget. Her cheeks were full and rounded out more in her big warm smiles. That’s how I gave her a nickname: “carita de manzana” – (little apple face). Oh how I loved to smoosh her face between my hands and gently yank on those cheeks! I guess she appeared as a doll to me, since she was a jolly playtime pal to us all. What’s funny is, each of us (all eight) of her grandchildren, thought somehow that our grandma was all ours- exclusively ours! I mean, I thought I was her favorite and so did all my siblings. Nowadays we’ll still recall moments to try proving that to each other and it’s splendid to know she had infinite love for everyone. Enough love, you ask? No. Love is never enough unless it is both given and received. Grandma had more than enough. This is where the word essence comes into play. Read on…
Zoila, my dear Grandma, realized I was having a difficult time staying asleep at night. It was due to dreams I didn’t yet comprehend. Well, one of the things I remember her so dearly for, is that she taught me not to be afraid of the dark anymore. “She said where there is dark, there must be light-you just have to learn where to find it.” She showed me how to really ‘see’ by looking at the whole picture with my eyes and mind.
In the Arts, I relate everything to that moment when I realized what ‘seeing’ really meant. I feel blessed to have had her as long as I did, while in turn, found art as my calling. I wish everyone could look through my eyes beyond to where they can also see what I see. That’s probably the most important reason I started to doodle since early childhood. I remember literally losing my voice when we had the wake for my grandmother. I just had no words to express how I felt. Still, I can close my eyes and see my “little apple face” smiling as a huge rush of warmth overcomes me. I may cry a little, although those melancholic tears can become joyful in honoring the good in our loved ones. We in my family have lost many, yet we have each other, regardless of time. Art has been present for me through so many moments both good and bad. Without it I may never have found my voice again. I hope that if you miss someone so dearly, that you too can close your eyes and smile back at them.
Tomorrow makes three years since my dear beloved father passed away. The only way I can let myself remember him is through his unforgettable voice, smile, laughter and warm greeting. I know there are heavy hearts in those of you who knew them both. Mine is only one among you who make up this army of a powerful bond we know as family. Yes, it is difficult not to see them, yet I am so very grateful to have been a part of their earthly lives and I know you are, also. Above are photos of Grandma Zoila and my Dad, Juan.
I wish everyone could use this as an opportunity to see the best of the ones you love, both here and beyond. Truly, I wish every memory could be one full of smiles in happy times so that sadness would not be present in our hearts for too long. That’s how I like to remember those who are no longer with us, or are they? In my own experience, I found that they never truly left. They’re right here, in our hearts and memories, etched in our very souls. They’re in the way that I speak, the languages and cultural lessons I learned through them and so much more. I am happy to know every little thing I gathered from my loved ones will never be gone. I hope yours will live as infinitely…in essence, time is. Therefore, the infinity that is time, is because of essence. At least that’s how I believe it.
Here’s a painting I created from an inspirational waking vision. It’s one of those moments which led me to have Peace, titled: “The Infinite Voyage Messenger.” I hope that it helps in realizing that Peace can be your guide, also.
Until next time, thank you for joining me.
I wish you all an infinite amount of Love in the New Year-and beyond!