Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friends and Saying Goodbye
I've been meaning forever to post this photo. It's of an art fundraiser my friends put on for me when I was in treatment. I was allowed home to the island for a few days in between treatments before my transplant and so I surprised them by showing up. I hadn't seen my kids or any of my friends until then, so it was a hugely joyous occasion. None of us had the magnitude of what I was going through hit us yet.
The two paintings in the background are mine. My friends collected, donated and sold tons of artwork to financially help out my sons and I, and they did a fantastic job. This photo also shows a thousand cranes that many hands folded for me. I guess it worked because I'm still here.
Shannon, on the far left passed away suddenly a few days ago. She had a stomach ache, went to the hospital and then came home and went to bed. And now she is gone, I can scarcely believe it.
It's so difficult to believe. She was such a creative and bright force. She was always smiling and bringing creative projects to life. She loved vintage things, friends, helping others, her husband and children. She made our small community a better place. When she moved in next door to me, she brought big ideas and made them a reality in our little stagnant town.
She taught me a lot, the main thing being that I could let myself be a creative person and let it show. She introduced me to Fluevogs, she borrowed and wore my vintage dresses with a flourish and she spread colour wherever she went. She would dye her hair wild colours constantly and she always made it look gorgeous. The last thing she did on Facebook was say if 50 people hit the 'like' button, she would dye her hair pink in support of fighting breast cancer. I'm pretty sure she would have done it either way.
After I met her I found the gumption to cut off all my hair and dye it purple for my 30th birthday. I found the courage to pack up my children and move in search of new adventures and opportunity. She was a doer. Once she told me that she didn't understand the creative people in her life. She said that we are gifted with so many ideas but we often don't do them. She would take an idea and not sit on it for a second. She would run with that idea and make it a smashing reality. I found a lot of good in knowing her.
I guess I never really said it before, but she changed my life. I had been discouraged from being myself as a vibrant artist and human being my entire life but she lead by example. I followed her blazing path and then onto my own.
Without knowing it, she helped me become me.