What piece of art are you grateful for?
The minute I came across this prompt in my quest for my 30 this month, I knew the answer.
My mom’s cousin, John, is an artist. My understanding is in many areas but the one I am familiar with is painting. This is because of the painting he did for my mother, long ago now. I say long ago because I was just a child and per the signature and date, it is 50 years old.
The story as I know it is that many asked John to paint something for them, but mom never did. It wasn’t her nature to ask someone to do something like that for her, something that would take a good deal of time, heart and effort. And she’d never expect it as a gift for free, she’d want to pay them for their work. She was close to John, and I have brief clips of memories of him at our house when I was growing up. My parents opened their doors to a lot of folks who came bearing pizza and beer and enjoyed each others company. One day, mom saw John approaching the house and he was carrying something large in his hand. It was a painting. He had done it for mom out of love, and because she had never asked him too.
For half a century now, this painting has hung in our dining room, moving from house to house with mom. When she died I made sure that it was okay with my siblings before hanging it in my home. My brothers were clear, if I didn’t want it, and my sister didn’t take it, then it was to go to one of them. No one knew where they’d put it but they knew it was not to leave the family because it had become special to us because it was so special to her.
It hangs in my ‘dining room’ in my apartment now, and I’m proud to have it there, reminding me of my mom, and also of cousin John and his kind heart. I saw him a few months before she died, when he came to visit my mom, and it brought back so many memories of a guy with a warm smile and love for his family.
I’m grateful for this painting because it represents something so precious to me…family.