Monday, February 21, 2011

A Great Woman

Sister Mary Hugh was one of the greatest woman I have had the pleasure of knowing, and spending a good portion of my life with.
She has since passed away, in her 90's. She drove up until the end. She was one of my idols, and was integral in my spiritual growth. She was never, ever, preachy or judgmental in any way. She taught through example.
Her story started as a wife, and mother. Her husband was killed in a war, and shortly after her infant son died. She was totally grief stricken but never turned away from her faith in God. She was totally in love with her husband, and child.
She told me that she understood why God took them, and truly felt that the good died young as to God sparing them from this life of trials and sadness and turmoil.
She was an avid Cross Country Skier, and she rode a Harley Hog motorcycle. She was always extremely busy, always smiling, laughing, and bringing great joy to all around her.

The nuns adored my husband, and our daughter Carrie. Always laughing at their antics, and would say, "Oh here comes St. George the Dragon Slayer". It always made me laugh and smile. I was so touched by the nuns and their caring ways. Always so much fun to be around, and loads of laughter, joy, and what I call "Real Living". I was truly proud to become one of them when I took my vows. The Benedictines have such an interesting philosophy on life and a powerful faith that carries them through everything.

Sister Cecilia was my mentor before I took my vows. The Benedictine Convent was down the street from the Monastery. Everyday in my life was a blessing then. I was always joyful, full of love, and for once in my life I truly felt loved. Not for what I could be, should be, just for who I really was. I was never judged by my clothes, how much money I had (or didn't have), or that I wasn't smart enough. None of that mattered they felt everyone was equal in every way. They treated absolutely everyone the same.

I will never forget all their love, and I miss them dearly. I remember the love they had for my Mother. When she passed away they were all there. They held a special mass in their lovely private chapel at the Convent for her. George and I were kneeling in the pew, behind us was a beautiful stained glass window. My sister said it brought tears to her eyes because during the whole service there was a bird outside fluttering behind the stained glass window. That was one of my Mother's favorite loves, feeding and taking care of the wild birds in our area. I felt that was very profound and it held great meaning to me.

I have to admit that this world today is something that breaks my heart. We are all so removed from the things that are truly important in life. The sisters loved Art, and were very, very, knowledgeable about it. Way more than I. They loved my work and all works of Art had great meaning. We have become so shallow, so unloving, and only in pursuit of money.

The sisters had to sell their convent and the remaining nuns moved back to their main Convent in Pennsylvania. I miss them dearly, and I truly miss my life being with them. I will never feel a part of this Secular life. It is so cold and unforgiving. I have never been one for controlling others. I don't seek power, nor wealth, nor fame. I am just so grateful for having those who love me for just who I am. To me that is the greatest treasure anyone could ever have.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Eternal Love

Eternal love can manifest itself in many ways. To the left is a portrait I did for a woman of her beloved deceased dog Buddy. I had to question her extensively because I could not get to know Buddy first hand. One of the most important aspects when doing a portrait. If you want to capture the essence or soul you need to know the person/animal on a more personal basis.
She went into this whole story of her dog. How he was like a "Sentinel" everyday waiting at the bus stop for the kids. How he would stand, reminiscent of a "Guardian Angel", always loyal, always loving, and always concerned for the welfare of everyone.

I had my work cut out for sure. Going over photos, studying the dog, and seeing his relationship with family members in the photos. An interesting study of this dog.

When viewing the photos I started to see the love that this family had for this dog. As well as the great love they had for each other. It made me cry, and tears would well up as I did this portrait. After many attempts I decided on this pose, one where he doesn't look like the happy, family, Golden Retriever. One where he transcends normal dog stance. I made it eerily stark. No background to speak of, just the soul of a dog who still watches over the ones he loves.

Anyway, when I delivered the portrait to her, and unveiled it. She immediately broke down, sobbing from the bottom of her heart. In her sobbing voice she wailed, "That is my Buddy, that is the exact stance he always had waiting for a loved one". A very powerful moment for me, and she hung on me, thanking me through her tears of love.

This is what LOVE is. It truly is one of the most powerful forces in the Universe. Unbreakable, over time and space. So always remember just how important you are to those who love you. Never forget the impact your presence has upon someone, or some pet. And never forget the deep love you too have for others, and cherish every second.

Some of the greatest wonders of the world have been created in honor of undying love. So this Valentines Day remember just how important it is to show just how much you truly love, and how much you are truly loved. Always love with your whole being, and soul. It will last eternally.