Art gently heals

Photo taken by Mike Dell

I decided to make this my first post because although it’s a profit with purpose company — I owe my life of caring, to my mother. The picture above is my beautiful mother. Always going above and beyond to help others, dedicating her life as a nurse inside and outside the hospital, for over 25 years. She died at the age of 63 on March 10th, 2016.

Although I have never considered myself a good writer in anyway, I am going to attempt to write about my brilliant mother, Catarina, so you can get a glimpse of the light she left behind.

She was the type of woman that always stood up for what was right, even if it meant she’d be disliked. She loved to laugh, dance and cause some good trouble. As you can see, she was a beauty — but that never mattered to her. She always lived with her heart open and ready to love anyone who needed consoling. You only had to spend a few minutes with her to be changed forever.

On the day of her celebration I shared a story that I feel is the epitome of her character and I’d like to share it here. I love starting stories with “One day..” it gives such a feeling of comfort as though I am wrapped with a blanket while a roaring fire crackles in the I go..

One day, on a beautiful late Spring afternoon, my mother took my brother and I to run around Victoria Park as there was a themed event for kids. We ran and played till our cheeks were red and jackets torn off. As I ran back I saw my mother walking at a slow contemplative pace. Her back was to me and I stood watching her as I marveled at her graceful beauty. I always did. There she was, wearing a stunning white fitted dress pressed with large purple and blue florals, stepped with stunning gold sandals with short heels. When I got a glance of her face, I noticed her distance and ran over to her.

“Mom, is everything ok? You seem sad?”

“Oh lovey…..see those 3 kids over there sitting on the bench? Well, the young girl over there called me a mean name while I was walking by.”

“What did she say?”

She really hesitated to tell me. But she was a woman of honesty. She looked at me in the eyes and said..

“She called me a slut” and her eyes quickly looked away.

Now, before I get into the rage I felt towards these kids, my mother had never, in her life, been called such a name. She would always discuss sex to me as though it were a sacred thing and even if it weren’t discussed as a sacred act — no one deserves such violent words.

My breath was taken away as I looked in the direction of these kids, looked back at my mother with sad eyes wondering what to say and how to handle this anger I had inside of me.

“What did you say Ma?”

Taking her time, in her soft tone she says

“I paused as soon as I heard what the young girl said, walked over to her, looked her in the eye and said..
‘for such a beautiful girl, what an ugly thing to say’ ..
and then I simply walked away.”

That story may not seem much to you but it shifted my whole life. That one day gave me the most beautiful perspective that I have carried with me in every ugly encounter I have ever had.

Her grace and kindness radiated with her.

When I am feeling angry, jealous or afraid — I think of her grace. She was the epitome of kindness. Her heart was like no other and I miss her.

The pain I feel is ineffable to describe and nothing in life prepares you for this kind of anguish. But as a daughter who has lost a mother, I have learned that no matter what issues you have with your parents — in the end, it’s not going to matter. Don’t let this advice pass you lightly. Trust me, it won’t matter.

Now to get to the title of this post Art gently heals. It has been difficult to function in everyday life. My friends have been outstanding, but this kind of pain is very different and unless one has experienced such loss, it’s difficult to comprehend. I feel like I am a web, being woven into stability to then only be swept away again by the wind. Starting over again and again.

Art and nature seem to be intertwined for me right now. Music gives me the feeling as though I am wrapped in place. I’m in a cocoon that is soft but opaque, layered with black on the outside and mesh black on the inside. Certain chords are triggering my space to be punctured, making me feel like I won’t make it. Some songs just help me add another layer of memories I can rest in to face my grief.

Thank you to all the artists out there who commit to their light so hearts like mine can heal. That is why I will always work to find a loving place for you.

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