Do I hear crickets chirping yet?
It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything relatively interesting on this blog and sometimes that thought makes me wonder if it’s still worth reading. My slow recovery has made me feel like the leader of Dullsville. All Hail, Queen Boring!! But here you are reading and keeping me company, and I thank you for that. The fact is, I don’t have anything happening in my life right now, yet I have a LOT happening in my life right now. It just feels as though I’m in a waiting period, somewhere between Come and Go.
When Patty died, I wondered what would become of me. My career as her caregiver fell into my lap, and 12 years later here I was, grieving and on the cusp of my first major surgery. Not having a job to return to these past six weeks has provided me with both pangs of worry and feelings of extreme relief. I still think of Patty every day and I miss her terribly; but I’ve also given plenty of thought about me. About what my new purpose is going to be.
I received a phone call yesterday evening from a friend of Patty’s. Judy was her masseuse. She and I crossed paths on many occasions over at Patty’s house and eventually we became friends as well. A few years ago Judy moved away, yet whenever she came back into town she always came over for a visit or the three of us would have lunch together. When Patty died in May I tried contacting Judy but couldn’t reach her. Then out of the blue, she called last night and said that she had recently moved and tried calling Patty’s house, receiving a message that the line had been disconnected. I had the unfortunate task of breaking the news to Judy but she took it well and we shared some memories together.
But then, Judy said something that I didn’t expect. She asked if Patty knew about my plans to have surgery before she died. I told her that yes, she was aware, and it was strange the way everything unfolded. I’d postponed my surgery for years, partly because I knew that it would disrupt my job of taking care of Patty. Then, when my body forced me into making the decision to have surgery, she abruptly died a few weeks before. Judy said she felt that Patty died because she didn’t want to be without me; that maybe, somehow, she knew my recovery would be longer than expected and felt it was her time to go. I told Judy that Patty died from complications by acquiring the MRSA virus, but that didn’t seem to waver her opinion. I don’t necessarily share Judy’s view, but I haven’t been able to get that conversation out of my mind.
I used to be a working artist in a previous life. My first paid freelance job was given to me by a local child’s advocacy program. I was hired to illustrate a coloring book which would be used as an aid in teaching children how to prepare to testify in court. From there I was commissioned to paint murals, and then had my own furniture painting business for a while. When I decided to work one-on-one for families who needed me, I kept my foot in the painting pool but it took a backseat as I devoted more and more time to my new career.
In the weeks before my surgery I started thinking about what I was going to do with my free time. I’d been working since I was 16 years old, and exercising almost daily for the last decade of my life. I needed a plan to stimulate my mind while waiting for my body to heal. Time is precious I would suddenly have plenty of it. I didn’t want to squander it away. Then, it hit me. I could stop dangling the foot and throw my whole body into the painting pool. Per my usual Ellen Style, I worried and fretted. It’s been so long since I’ve worked on my art full-time. I don’t know if I can pull this off. I’m too rusty. I no longer have the knowledge about what it takes to succeed.
And it was right around that time when Kyra began reading my blog and made her first comment. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Kyra is a very talented and highly regarded artist (you can check out her art at Kyra Wilson Studio). Her kindness and the knowledge she’s shared by virtually holding my hand these past several weeks has been invaluable. Kismet, maybe? Even my husband who can be a bit of a skeptic agrees that the word coincidence doesn’t quite describe the events of the past couple of months.
So, what have I been doing these past few weeks? I’ve launched a shop on Zazzle that features my work for sale. I’ve created a Facebook Page featuring my artwork. I am building my own shop on Etsy and hope to have it open by the end of next week. All of this information will be accessible from a new tab that’s located at the top of my blog.
Also, this week my domain name came up for renewal once again. That was one decision I didn’t have to sweat over. I happily renewed and in September this blog will be celebrating its second anniversary.
You all know how I feel about labels, but right now I’m pretty comfortable in labeling myself.
I am a health conscious blogger. I am an artist. And I’m going to be okay.