Not only did I arrange for my Dad’s cremation today, I was also appointed as planner of his Celebration of Life and also as writer of his obituary.
I only recorded it so that I could type it quickly without looking back-and-forth at my little piece of paper. Then I started thinking, that in all reality, nobody really wants to read those. It’s easier just to hear it.
It’s also big britches to fill, and I want to make sure it’s good. It’s not only about who he was before he died, but who he will be remembered as forever. That’s heavy.
I am still going to type it and submit it to the newspaper, as my Dad touched a lot of people in his lifetime. I want everyone to be informed and also to know they are welcomed at the celebration we will have in September, on his birthday.
We are gonna get through this. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve dealt with a lot of sadness and death in my life, and I am here still standing, smile on my face, most of the time. Not so much this week but most of the time.
On the evening of my dad’s death, I was drawing. I was practicing facial expressions, like I do every night, and I usually throw them away, but this night was different. What I drew on this night reminded me of what I gave my dad for Father’s Day last year… it had similar faces, but it was drawn on canvas. I thought about that for a moment on that night, and I thought it was really strange to make that connection… I checked my phone to make sure that my ringer was on. When the phone rang, I shouted, “I knew it.” I had some weird feeling that my daddy was going to die and I had been having that feeling for more than a month. (And now I’ve just realized that I will never have a Father’s Day again with my dad. 😭)
Even though my daddy was sick for more than 6 1/2 years with kidney failure, I never really thought that he would die. He was the strongest man I know and he never gave up. He was not a quitter. In fact, I get that trait from him. I didn’t realize how close he was to the end, or I didn’t want to believe it, and I was completely unaware of how many pills he was taking in order to remain here with us.
I feel like a little girl, the child I was so many years ago. Death has crept into every cell ofmy body, and it has engulfed me. I’ve lost so much in the last couple years that I am starting to feel picked on, like this shit ain’t fair. But why, of all people, did I lose my dad? I’ll never understand.
I also received my prototype copy of Inner Child Artist, and I photographed it that night.
So ironic that I will be writing the guidebook for it as I’m trying to heal my inner child who, is missing her daddy!
Art is all I have left. I wonder when that will be taken away?
There are no words that can explain how I feel. I’m not good at talking anyway; I’m better at expressing myself through my artwork. So here I go…
I am at a total loss.
I’ve lost such a huge part of me that I now feel INCOMPLETE.
I want to float away.
“John, please hold me down.” (I said this to my husband about a month ago, when my Dad first started ailing. And I fucking meant it.)
I am so grateful that I made him the “20 Things” poster. I am so glad I researched people’s biggest regrets after losing a parent. Otherwise, I would be sitting here, HATING myself for every little fucking thing I didn’t know to do; that I didn’t think of doing.
My heart is utterly broken. Into pieces. I am not myself anymore… Without my dad, who am I anyways?
I am just a failing little girl. (I am still hating on myself, knowing I did all I could to both prepare him and myself for the inevitable.) My mama is having a another bad day. And so am I. I’m starting to realize that there will be many bad days.
I have decided to go see his body this afternoon because I know it is my very last opportunity to see him in this lifetime, to see him on this spherical, orbital planet. I am not prepared for this. This will make everything real, and although I am aware it has happened, I’m not quite in reality right now. I’m living in a parallel reality… in Chattanooga with my Daddy.
I am trying to be graceful. I am trying to be sweet. This happens to all of us, I try to remind myself. “Life is a gift, and every breath I take is sacred,” I whisper to myself… OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!!!
He fought a hard battle.
“Fuck this shit,” is what I’m screaming on the inside!
He was fine until fluid started gathering around his heart and in his lungs just a couple of months ago. From that point on, it was a steady decline. They tried to get rid of the fluid through dialysis, but my daddy just got weaker and weaker, as his heart started to swell.
Our hearts were swelling at the same time… only his was not going to recover.
My daddy’s heart started to give out on us. The doctor said that the bottom of his heart was not working correctly to pump the blood out to the top, so he would start going into “AFIB” and the top of his heart would start to quiver. Just days ago he had a defibulator implanted to shock it out of AFIB, but his blood pressure remained dangerously low, even after the implant. Shit just got real.
And today was his last day with us. God! Why?!? We weren’t ready! I wanted to take him fishing one last time… I would give a fucking arm and leg for that! I wanted to sing our duets one more time! (I kinda/sorta got that one…)
My dad has been in ICU for a week now. He has to a have a defibrillater implanted into his heart tomorrow morning, while his blood pressure stays at a very low rate. I’m worried. I am so fucking scared of facing life on Earth without him. I can’t stand the thought of losing him, but I know that I cannot be selfish and that everything is not always about me. But how do I live without him? Who do I call when I’m hurt, and I need the one, (the only one), who has always picked me up?
He’s always been my “go to.” My man. My protector. My reminder. My daddy.
So Tonight, I’m drawing out my emotions, not wanting the night to end. Because that brings tomorrow. And then it’s here. And so is uncertainty, and all I know is that I am petrified. I am so fucking scared for tomorrow to come, bringing another surgery, because my dad wasn’t doing well today.
Drawing doesn’t even help tonight, as I can’t stop thinking of my parents, both trying to sleep amidst the noise of the hospital. God bless my mama. She needs to get some rest. And so does my daddy, but not too much!
And now I must lay my own head to rest so that I can deal with this emotional roller coaster again tomorrow. 😳😭❤️ Please say a little prayer for our grieving hearts.
My actual portfolios, both physical and digital, are getting rather large.
In fact, when I went to create this page, I soon realized that I had created so much art, that it wouldn’t all fit on a single page. I then separated it into years, and soon realized that it still wouldn’t fit. Next, I created a website devoted to my gallery only and linked it to this site via this page.
Whew! But then there were so many photographs that it seemed like it would take a person forever to actually scroll through them, so I decided to make videos for each year. After I had made them all, I combined them into an overall video of the artwork I’ve done since 2016, showing the progression of my drawing skills over that time period. I absolutely love it! I love watching me make my own artsy transformation!
Things have changed so much during the last three years, but it’s working itself out. Thank God. Sort of. 😍
Although I always try to see the good in other people, sometimes it is necessary to defend yourself with truth. The proof is always in the pudding.
According to one person, (whom shall remain unnamed and unseen): “Since when do you work?! You’ve been busy sitting around and doing nothing while your husband works his ass off to handle everything.”
In response to unnamed and unseen person🤐:
According to John (“husband”), “he would love for me to be staying at home, barefoot and pregnant with (his) babies, watching my stories on the tube…” (pretty sure that is why our dog family is what it is…)
However, John has come to the the conclusion that I work WAY TOO MUCH.
I have always had so much hope that with modern technology and medical advances, that my dad would be fine. I’ve never been the best at handling terminal illness and death. And the death of someone close to me nearly destroys me. I’m still trying to deal with the loss of my sister (3 years ago and my niece (1.5 years ago). It’s hard. It doesn’t get easier. It doesn’t go away. In fact, I think it gets worse because of the lack of their presence, as the time goes by. But as the wheel turns, here we go again. Only this time, it’s my favorite man on earth, MY DADDY.
My dad has been sick for 6.5 years now. It’s been devastating to watch my hero fade and be replaced by a sick and frail man. It’s even harder for me to watch my mama working so hard to hang on, knowing in her heart that she will soon have to let go. It kills me to think of life without either of them. It kills me to think about life for only one of them, once the other has passed. They need each other, and I need them both.
It all started six years ago with stage 4 kidney failure, and through the process of trying to find a donor, it was determined that my dad had two different types of blood cancer. Fast forward to now….His lungs are filling up with fluid daily and he’s been in the hospital several times in the last couple months. He has pneumonia and needs surgery on his dialysis port that they can’t do without the ultimate consequence of him dying. He’s already dying, with or without that surgery. The man who used to be a solid and muscular 220 pounds is down to 150 pounds. He is skin and bones and he has pneumonia on top of everything else. No color in his face, no smile.. no hope left. And he doesn’t really want to talk about it. He doesn’t want to talk at all. He’s sick. I can tell he is suffering. 😭
He told my mom yesterday that he’s “already dead.” My heart is breaking and falling in pieces at my feet. How am I supposed to get through this? How am I supposed to be strong for my mama? When all I want to do is crawl under a rock and fucking die? When I can’t keep my eyes from pouring rivers?
Art is my only way of coping.
Last night I wrote my dad a letter which turned out to be really RAW and long. I wrote this letter on watercolor paper, so I decided to turn it into a little project, a little art project, that I have named “20 Things I Want You to Know Before You Must Go.”
Here it is:
Kill me now.
Can’t we just rewind back to happier and simpler times? Please, God?
I will always have my memories. I am so thankful for all of the beautiful memories my parents have given to me. Honestly, I would be nothing without them. ❤️
Please pray for my family. Pray that my dad goes easily and peacefully, and is met by Shane at the gate. Pray for strength and happiness for my mom.
Pray for my sanity; Lord knows I’m losing my shit. 🥺
And since Mother’s Day is right around the corner, this is for my mom.
My parents are beautiful to one another, even after 50 years:
I learned everything I know about relationships by watching my parents, and more specifically, by watching how they treated one another. They always show unconditional love and respect for each other at all times, no matter what. (If you’ve ever heard Ed Sheeran’s song called “Afire Love,” then you must know the kind of love I’m talking about… it at least what it may look like, or sound like, in a song.)
“We’re set alight…”
It is truly the kind of love that inspires jealousy, and it mostly seems unattainable to the wider population, if you know what I mean. Other than the love I received from my parents, I never knew true love until I met my husband, but that wasn’t until after age 40. In fact, it wasn’t until after meeting my husband that I actually realized what LOVE is! (I mean, I had watched and learned from my parents, BUT…)
“In life, in love”
My parents have always had a beautiful love, but I figured that it was just something that they had, and not really anything that everybody else gets… Like it was something special to them only, but I’m realizing now, as I’m starting to get a little older, that the love that they have is very special. These days, not many people even strive to attain it. I’m so proud that I can say that I got to witness a man love and respect a woman for my entire life; and a woman love and respect a man… my parents. ❤️
The kind of love I’m speaking of is the kind that brings you light, wraps you in light, sets you alight…
YOU BECOME THAT LIGHT.
… Because it fills you with light.
Even in the darkest of times.
And love is the absolute, only thing that we get to take with us when we die.
I want my parents to know that they have been witnessed, and appreciated… so that, during a time, when maybe that light is not shining so bright, this portrait will serve as a reminder of how to get through that dark tunnel.
Ed can get me out of a tunnel. You should check him out. ❤️
I have been working on this deck for over a year now. It is on my original artwork. It is shocking how scared a person (ME!) can be to put themselves out there. It is really a road traveled by only the fierce! 😚
I have no idea when this deck will be released, or even how long it might take me to complete it. It is a huge undertaking and quite a process to complete 78 paintings, actually 78 painted portraits, of tarot archetypes and other characters. And although it seems like it would be too much work, it is really what makes my clock tick. I love tarot and I love art, and I’m pretty sure I’ve told you all about it! It acts as my medicine. Well, that and SnapChat! 😂
Speaking of Snapchat, I started working on my “Selfie Fun” class! It’s going to be a blast and it’s going to be offered for free! You could make an Oracle or a tarot deck using Snapchat filters, or other apps, And you take selfies of yourself in character. My example below:
More information about this free class is coming soon!
Introducing Inner Child Artist, an art therapy deck to heal the wounded inner child.
This is the new deck I have been working on. It is called Inner Child Artist, and it is for healing the wounded inner child that hides inside of all of us. This is an art therapy deck that will assist you in completing activities that will soothe the inner child and dismantle barriers in your consciousness, clearing emotional knots.
This deck will be coming to kickstarter soon! The prototype is being printed as we speak and it should be in my hands within a week and a half.
Keep your eyes peeled for it! It’s going to be a great one. ❤️
So…. I am A Capricorn Sun (hard worker, determined), Leo Rising (know it all, show off), with a Scorpio Moon (emotional dramatics, jealousy). I have always blamed my moon for my emotional state of being, for it runs it’s watery emotions through my veins and pumps my heart full of feelings, most of which I am not keen to handle easily. Things sit with me for so long, too long. Everything touches me so deeply. A “Sensitive.”
I need to stop absorbing energy that is not mine. I can sense it immediately, for I have always been a sponge! I now hove learned how to avoid absorbing the negative energy in any environment and also not to project my energy onto others, if need be. But, I have not learned how to sheild negativity altogether. I need to “let shit roll off my back,” as my Dad always told me. But I don’t find it easy to let go of things. I need to be like water, act like water. I need to learn how to easily just let shit go. For real.
I love drawing people and I have gotten good enough that I am able to catch a likeness to them. When I show people my work, I always get asked to draw for them. It is flattering and it is a lot of work! But, I do like it (as my work!) and so I do it happily, with a big smile on my face.
These two pieces are for my plastic surgeon, the very best in Las Vegas! I’m having surgery, again, tomorrow. This is the third surgery that I’ve needed as a result of the accident my husband and I got into last July, with a drunk driver, (the douche bag who committed suicide two months after the accident…). It’s almost been a year and I am still not better. However, art makes me feel way better than I would if I didn’t have it.
I have a feeling it’s going to be a long night of drawing because I am petrified of the surgery I have to have again. It hurts and it leaves me incapacitated for more than a week. So I’ll paint these pretty, little girls and get paid for it. 😉(And try not to think about tomorrow morning as much as possible.)
This is the life!
(Pray for a speedy recovery and a minimal amount of pain for me, please?)
I drew my niece tonight. She didn’t call me for Mother’s Day. She has called me every Mother’s Day since her mom died, three years ago, but she didn’t call this year.
And I know why…
It doesn’t make me happy.
I used to think she was a heroin addict, but I know now that she is just a drug addict. Period. Any drug will do.
I have been trying to help her for the last three years, and by trying to help her, I mean letting her live with me, paying for her bills, buying her food, bailing her out of jail, etc., but she doesn’t really want help. She doesn’t want to get clean. She wants to live like this.
So she stays high, way up in sky, bobbling around in all directions, dependent upon the wind to determine where she is going.
I lost her mom and I lost her twin sister, too, but you don’t see me using them as an excuse to fuck up my life. And my biggest fear is that I’m going to have to identify her body at the Coroner’s office, like I did her sister’s.
So I stay away. I can’t be apart of that life and I refuse to watch her die. I just draw her. At least I know the one that I drew is the “real her” and not her representative.
This is short review and video unboxing for two decks by BAMBOLANERA TAROT, on Etsy. There are several handmade decks made by the shop, originating in Italy. You can find the shop here.
The first deck shown is called Alice Underground. It is a black and white “majors only” deck, quite HUGE, but definately LOVELY!
The second deck, Voodoo Dolly, is a handmade, color, 78-card deck. Voodoo Dolly is a little smaller than Alice Underground, but the cards have no backs! (That threw me off! It kind of feels like I am shuffling postcards, rather than tarot cards.) I will fereely admit that I hate that it doesn’t have a back. I mean I really hate it.
(Wait, I am an artist. I will design my own back for the cards!)
If you like seeing decks reviews and/or unboxings, you can visit my channel here.
When my sister died three years ago, I was at a loss. I mean a literal loss of everything, including my mind, and especially my mind. It was a “Tower moment.” The problem was that I had never even considered her death before and I just took for granted that she would always be around. One night, shortly after her death, I sat down with a pencil and a sketch pad. For hours, I tried my hardest to draw her. I ended up in a heap on the floor above my sketchpad, crying for hours, because I could not draw her AT ALL, let alone try to catch a likeness to her. It was terrible.
My husband came into the room and asked me what was wrong. I told him that I was a “fake art teacher.” I said, “I know how to teach art, but I am not an artist.” After saying that, I started crying again because I felt like an imposter. I had been an artist my whole life.
Or I had thought that I was an artist my whole life…
But when it came down to it… I could not draw to save my life.
Are you an artist if you can’t draw?
Of course, I wasn’t thinking rationally at the time and my first thought in answer to that question was absolutely not… even though I know that there are many, varied types of artists out there, several that don’t draw. I was being irrational, and especially hard on myself. I didn’t know how to deal with grief. I’m still learning.
I completed the above drawing on the night I mentioned. It was a hard night. I really wanted to SEE my sister, but I would never be able to again unless I could draw her. It was that same night that I committed to an art practice for myself. I have drawn every day since, and I always come back to my sister.
Unbeknownst to her, she has been a source of inspiration and helped me to realize something that I would have maybe never known had she not left the earthly realm…
I am an artist!
I am a damn good artist, and I get better with practice, just as anyone who practices anything in life. I continue to practice daily because I want to be good, maybe even great some day.
Her death has taught me that there’s really nothing that I can’t do if I put my mind to it. Since that night, I have drawn her several times, with different results, but none as awful as the first. 😳
She has also taught me about perfection. Perfection isn’t what I always thought it was. I thought perfection meant having no flaws. Having flaws is always so much more interesting than having no flaws. Our flaws are what make us or break us. She has taught me that “there is no perfect here,” and I think that is PERFECT. I can’t expect myself or my artwork to be perfect. Once I was able to let go of my idea of what perfect was and allow my artwork to be, my particular art style started to emerge.
And what’s more, she has taught that we are all perfect in our own way. She took after her dad, never thought she was a “looker,” but her beauty was skin deep. She was golden on the inside. She was very giving and also forgiving. She was an optimist and always looked at things from a very bright and positive perspective, never held grudges, and kept her held held high, with a smile on her face, no matter what. Her personality commanded attention and she was so funny! She’d have the whole crew laughing uncontrollably until our bellies ached. I miss her! I have so many good memories of our times together and I am so fortunate for that.
I love to draw my memories from those times, and so learning to draw was very important for me in my healing process. I have found drawing to be very therapeutic and when I was in school for art therapy, I realized that what I had discovered was right on point!
Art is a perfect kind of therapy because it takes us out of our sadness and it requires us to be constructive. I still embrace my sadness, but I am acting on it, rather than sitting there, helplessly crying. It’s through the act of creation that my healing occurs.
I know she would be proud to know she is my muse. I also know that she would be proud of the artist I have become.